Journalists harassed outside Philippines’ Presidential Palace

Footage of the PSG ending the protest. Credit: Twitter/@DMZZTeleRadyo

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) strongly criticize the harassment of several journalists covering protests on Tuesday, February 7, 2017 in Manila, the Philippines. The IFJ calls on the media safety taskforce to investigate the incident.

On Tuesday morning, several media outlets were outside Malacanang, the Presidential Palace in Manila, covering a protest by relatives of political prisoners. Tensions at the protest escalated when members of the Presidential Security Group tried to disseminate the protesters. They took banners from the protesters and tried to take equipment from the media, including phones with footage. According to reports, one reporter had a ‘tug of war’ with a guard over his mobile photo, in an attempt to erase footage of the incident.

NUJP Chairperson, Ryan Rosuaro, said: This is clear overreach and indicates that members of what is supposed to be among the most elites of the country’s security forces do not possess even the most basic appreciation not only of what media do but, more worrisome, of the limits that the law imposes on their authority. After all, presidential guards or not, they remain part of a security apparatus sworn to “protect and defend” the people, not prevent the lawful exercise of their rights and liberties.”

The IFJ said: “This incident is a blatant attack on press freedom and an attempt by the PSG to hide the truth. We echo the statement made by NUJP that this is an overreach and disrespects the work that the media do in the Philippines.”  

NUJP and IFJ call on the presidential task force on media safety to immediately look into this incident and ensure that disciplinary measures are implemented as needed and such an incident does not happen again.

For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946 

The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries

Find the IFJ on Twitter: @ifjasiapacific

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