By Joey Natividad
CITY OF NAGA, Bicol Region (BicolToday.com) – Journalists groups on Friday, March 1, joined ranks in condemning the mauling by Davao City policemen of a photojournalist who was covering the protest action by calamity victims needing food rations in Davao City.
The Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines (PCP) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) deplored the beating up of Inquirer photojournalist Karlos Manlupig by policemen while he was taking photos of protesters who got beaten up by cops earlier when a protest action was violently dispersed by riot policemen.
“We demand immediate action on attack against Davao photojournalist,” said Mike Alquinto, PCP chair, informing BicolToday.com on Friday.
Journalists in the Bicol Region also demand for immediate sanctions against Davao policemen involved in the mauling.
Reports reaching the PCP, an organization of photojournalists in the country, noted that police hit Manlupig with truncheons on the head, arms and other parts of the body. The report said the officers shoved our colleague using anti-riot shields.
The incident happened while Manlupig was interviewing a protester inside the regional office of the social welfare department in the city. At least six policemen mauled Manlupig for allegedly only taking photographs of protesters hurt in an earlier violent dispersal.
“We call on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to immediately take action against the erring policemen. We demand sanctions and disciplinary measures, including dismissal from the service if it is warranted, after a thorough and transparent investigation,” declared PCP.
NUJP said the brazen assault on a journalist who had clearly identified himself and had every right to be where he was and perform his work shows just how little respect — not to mention knowledge of — the Davao police have for press freedom and the basic rights of citizens.
“We demand that Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II and PNP Director General Alan Purisima immediately relieve Police Chief De la Rosa for command responsibility and have him and his abusive men investigated, and to file criminal and administrative charges against them”, said Rowena Paraan, NUJP chairperson. [BicolToday.com]