ILOILO CITY – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP-Iloilo Chapter), strongly condemns the harassment of reporter Aldrin Soqueña of RMN-Iloilo allegedly by Barangay Captain Angelo Joseph Areño and the barangay tanods of San Jose, Jaro, Iloilo City on March 10, 2016.
Mr. Soqueña was merely doing his job as a reporter by following up a story on World War II vintage mortar bombs found at a construction site in the village.
NUJP-Iloilo Chapter said Barangay Captain Areño and his tanods allegedly threatened Mr. Soqueña, took his Press ID, cellphone, pen, and notebook and they also hurled insulting words at Mr. Soqueña.
“If reports are true that Barangay Captain Areño and his tanods were drunk when they harassed Mr. Soqueña, this is tantamount to a mafia-style of leadership in the village,” Glenda Sologastoa, president of NUJP-Iloilo said.
The NUJP-Iloilo Chapter also condemns the laxity of the Jaro Philippine National Police in responding to the incident.
Police officers did not immediately arrest Barangay Captain Areño, and even had the gall to say to Mr. Soqueña that they will just “escort” the village chief to the police station.
NUJP-Iloilo called for the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and the Association of Barangay Captains (ABC-Iloilo City) to discipline, or sanction Barangay Captain Areño.
“We call on the Iloilo City Police Office to uphold its mandate in protecting victims instead of siding with erring local officials,” Tara Yap, the group secretary said. [BicolToday.com]