A HOUSE representative on Sunday urged her peers to investigate the home visit by a non-uniformed police officer to a journalist, supposedly to check on the welfare of media practitioners following the recent killing of a broadcaster.
“We think that this incident has to be investigated by Congress and should not be taken as an isolated incident and be viewed on the wider perspective of media harassment, red tagging and extra-judicial killings,” Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) Party-list Rep. France L. Castro said in a statement on Sunday.
The lawmaker cited that these supposed ‘visits’ sanctioned by the police leadership have been similarly done to teachers and members of organizations that the government labels as communist-terrorists.
“We want to have a copy of the memorandum ordering the visits as well as pose questions on its operationalization as this type of move only causes more anxiety to media practitioners as pointed out by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP),” she said.
GMA Network journalist John Paul “JP” Soriano relayed the police visit in a Twitter thread on Saturday.
The NUJP said in a statement that similar visits, which violate privacy rights, have been reported by other members of the press.
“We urge the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) and other police units to arrange these dialogues through more formal channels,” NUJP said.
“We also call on the police to take note of and address online threats to our colleagues, including the baseless red-tagging that many in the community have had to endure,” the group said.
NCRPO head Jonnel C. Estomo has since issued a public apology and ordered a stop to the visits.
“The intention is good, but unfortunately, this has caused undue alarm and fear,” he said, noting that the incident will be investigated. — Kyanna Angela Bulan