September 23, 2014     Philippines
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March 1, 2013
Media groups hit Davao City police for assault on colleagues

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Davao City Chapter (NUJP-Davao) has issued a statement condemning Dela Rosa’s “arrogance and disrespect” towards members of the media. “Such arrogance and disrespect by Dela Rosa towards members of the press is condemnable,” the NUJP-Davao said. “His attitude is reflective of the whole Davao City police personnel who actually treated people in the same manner as they beat up the barricaders indiscriminately including women and children.”

By DAVAO TODAY

Davao City, Philippines — Journalists seek the immediate relief of Davao City Police Chief Senior Superintendent Ronaldo “Bato” dela Rosa for the assault of a reporter covering a protest of victims of Typhoon Pablo.

Karlos Manlupig, a correspondent and photojournalist of Philippine Daily Inquirer was following protesters who have stormed the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) regional office Tuesday morning, trying to take pictures and interviews of them when policemen confronted him.

“They asked who I am and I introduced myself. But then some of them shouted at me asking why I was taking pictures of the protesters when I should be taking the pictures of injured policemen. I answered that I had already photographed them. Then, one of them shouted why I was still there when I had already taken the pictures,” Manlupig narrated.

He said he tried to explain that he needed to get interviews but somebody from the police gave a command to let me out. “They were suddenly starting to push me with their shields and sticks. I attempted to explain but they kept pushing until I was pinned at the gate. My face was sandwiched between a shield and a gate until I was pushed out.”

Manlupig tried to bring up the matter to dela Rosa, but ended up getting scolded by the latter in public saying, “You’re in a middle of a commotion, so don’t expect special treatment!”

On Thursday morning, online news Davao Today reporter Irene Dagudog was trying to get an interview with the police chief regarding the actions of policemen who were preventing Pablo protesters from proceeding their march towards the Sta. Ana Police station to demand that two of their colleagues who were earlier apprehended be released from detention when the latter instead confronted her and asked, “Are you neutral? If you blush, you are not.”

Dagudog said she felt belittled by the words of the police chief who told her this with other journalists and policemen looking on.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Davao City Chapter (NUJP-Davao) issued a statement condemning Dela Rosa’s “arrogance and disrespect” towards members of the media.

“Such arrogance and disrespect by Dela Rosa towards members of the press is condemnable,” the NUJP-Davao said. “His attitude is reflective of the whole Davao City police personnel who actually treated people in the same manner as they beat up the barricaders indiscriminately including women and children.”

“May we remind the police chief that our duty as journalists may entail the risks of being beaten up in scuffles, but it does not warrant him to treat us with disdain and intimidation. For how can we perform our duties next time involving police matters when our tasks of taking the side of victims are already pre-branded as biased?” the NUJP Davao asked.

The organization of photojournalists, Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines (PCP) has also released a statement expressing “grave concern” over the mauling of Manlupig.

“We make it clear to the PNP that attacks and violence against photojournalists is not tolerated,” the PCP said in a statement, calling further on the PNP to take immediate action on the matter.

“We demand sanctions and disciplinary measures, including the dismissal from the service if it is warranted, after a thorough and transparent investigation,” added the PCP statement.

The NUJP national office has also demanded the Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and PNP Director General Alan Purisima to “immediately relieve De la Rosa for command responsibility.”

“To do any less will be an admission that this administration does not care one whit for the rights and freedoms of citizens and that its touted “daang matuwid” is a lie,” the NUJP said. (davaotoday.com)

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