Statement – National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines deplores the glaring impunity with which the state’s security forces increasingly violate people’s basic rights.
 
We will mince no words here. What happened at the US embassy on Wednesday, when a weaponized police van was used against protesters, was a clear case of violence by the state against its own people.
Members of media were not spared.
 
Wences Balinguit of Southern Tagalog Exposure was arrested by the Manila Police District despite having identified himself as a journalist. And Jaja Necosia of Kilab Multimedia was shooting video of a policeman assaulting one of the passengers in a jeepney that was already leaving the area when he was punched by the officer. Pictures of this incident indicate the officer was the same PO3 Franklin Kho who ran over protesters with the police van.
 
Video footage of the dispersal’s aftermath also showed heavily armed SWAT personnel heckling reporters and trying to block cameramen covering the arrest of an injured protester.
 
Earlier in the day, in Antipolo City, reporter Olan Bola of radio station dzBB found himself arrested and slapped with obstruction of justice charges when he tried to interview a security guard and an officer identified as PO2 Puruganan while covering a hit-and-run incident. Bola’s blood pressure shot up while he was being held at the Antipolo station and had to be taken to the Klinika Antipolo, where he was treated under police guard.
 
We have received other reports of state agents attempting to prevent journalists from doing their work and even threatening them if they persist.
 
All this, of course, is happening within the bigger picture of the wanton violation of that most basic right – to life – in a “war” in which human rights and due process are seen as nuisances and those supposed to serve and protect and enforce the laws are assured of immunity for any “collateral damage” they may cause. Where perception, no matter if based on misinformation or outright prevarication, is held as more important than the truth, and the truth-tellers treated as the enemy for belying the preferred narrative.
 
To be sure, impunity has been with us for a long, long time, fueled by official apathy toward violations of people’s rights and the aversion of government after government to dissent. 
 
It is clear from where this impunity springs. We have always said that what leaders say or do not say, what they do or do not do, resound among those who believe in them and will often be taken as gospel truth or even marching orders.
 
Thus, the silence of past presidents to the wanton violation of rights helped fuel the impunity with which these rights were regularly violated by agents of the state and their cohorts.  But never, and again we mince no words, have we ever had a leader, President Rodrigo Duterte, who has so openly dismissed human rights and repeatedly exhorted law enforcers that they are above the law, who has regularly and publicly wished death and mayhem on those he perceives as the enemy.
 
While we may demand – and we DO demand – an immediate investigation and swift action on these assaults on the freedoms of the press and free expression, even if our demands are met, so long as the signals emanating from the center of power continue to see the rights and liberties of the people as obstacles rather than ideals to be protected and expanded, we hold little hope that such gross disregard for basic rights will end soon.

Reference:
Dabet Panelo
NUJP Secretary General
NUJP Hotline 09175155991

Rebolusyonaryong Pagbabago

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(Photo taken from personal FB page of President Duterte)

By: Rey Tamayo, Jr.

Sa pagpasok ng ika-100 araw ng panunungkulan ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte, tila naging mabilis at radikal ang mga pangyayari lalo na’t ang usapin ay tungkol sa malawakang kampanya kontra sa ilegal na droga.

Matatandaang panahon pa lang ng kampanya ay ideneklara na ni Pangulong Duterte (sa buong bansa) ang giyera kontra sa mga drug pusher, drug user, drug protector at sa mga drug lord. Batay sa mga datos na galing sa Philippine National Police (July 1-October 4), mayroong–

 1,377- na mga suspek ang napapatay.

 732,698- na mga users/pushers ang sumuko sa pamahalaan.

 22,503- na mga suspek ang naaresto.

 1,634,111- na mga binisitang bahay sa mga pinaghihinalaang user at pusher o mas lalong kilala sa Oplan Tokhang ng PNP sa ilalim ng liderato ni PNP Chief Ronald “Bato” dela Rosa.

At tinatayang nasa 1,800,000 na mga Filipino ang mga drug user batay na rin sa 2015 Dangerous Drug Board Survey.

Isang rebolusyonaryong pagbabago ang gustong maisakatuparan ng administrasyong Duterte bago matapos ang kaniyang termino upang maisalba ang susunod na henerasyon sa kamay ng masamang impluwensiya ng ilegal na droga.

Nagsisimula pa lang ang rebolusyon ngunit ramdam na ng publiko ang positibo at progresibong pagbabago na matagal ng hinahanap ng nakararaming Filipino na hindi nagawa ng mga nagdaang administrasyon.

Unti-unti na ring nararamdaman ng mga halimaw na nasa likod ng monopolyo ng droga ang bigwas ng kamay na bakal ng administrasyon. Marami na ang umaray sa matapang na kampanya ni Pangulong Duterte; kaliwa’t kanan ang napapatay na mga pinaghihinalaang drug pusher at drug user, may mga boluntaryong sumuko, may mga nagbunyag ng kanilang nalalaman hinggil sa kung sino ang nasa likod ng operasyon ng droga sa bansa, isinapubliko ang mahabang listahan ng mga protektor ng droga at tinanggal ang ilang opisyal ng pamahalaan na sangkot sa droga.

Ang resulta- nabulabog ng husto ang mga drug lord at mga sindikato ng droga. Sa takot na mabunyag sa publiko ang kani-kanilang mga boss, malaki ang posibilidad na ang mga sindikato na rin mismo ang pumapatay sa kanilang sariling mga tauhan upang mapagtakpan ang kanilang operasyon.

Kung gusto talaga nating mga Filipino na malinis ang bulok na sistema ng pamahalaan, kailangan natin ng isang lider na may tapang at malasakit upang humarap sa mala dambuhalang hamon ng korapsyon, krimen, at kahirapan.

Bagama’t may mga kritiko ang Pangulong Duterte sa diumano’y summary execution o extra judicial killing sa bansa na pinuna ng bansang Estados Unidos, European Union at maging ng United Nation ngunit depensa ni Pangulong Duterte malinaw umano ang kaniyang direktiba sa mga pulis at sundalo na patayin ang mga “kriminal” kung malalagay sa alanganin ang kanilang sitwasyon.

Mayor parte, mga kriminal ang napapatay sa operasyon ng mga otoridad.

Sa isang prespektibo at paralelismong pananaw, mas katanggap tangap na mapatay ng mga alagad ng batas ang mga kriminal sa lipunan kaysa sa mapatay ng mga kriminal ang mga inosenteng sibilyan na ang hangad lamang ay mabuhay ng marangal. At ang human rights ay para lamang sa mga tao at hindi sa mga hayop.

Nakikipagpunyagi tayo sa isang yugto ng realismong traspormasyon ng ating lipunan at ang nangyayari sa ating bansa sa kasalukuyan ay may nagaganap na malawakang rebolusyon kontra droga.

Ang realidad, sa isang giyera o rebolusyon hindi maiiwasan na may magbuwis ng buhay— may mamamatay at mamamatay sa giyera.

Ngunit kung ito ang isa sa mga alternatibong paraan upang mailigtas ang mas nakararaming inosenteng Filipino sa kamay ng mga buwitreng drug lord, sumasaludo ako sa rebolusyon na sinimulan ni Pangulong Duterte.

Kudos, Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte!

Tumatanggap ng puna at mungkahi ang awtor upang higit pang mapahusay ang anyo at nilalaman nito. Maaaring mag email sa reytamayo_2005@yahoo.com

Inaugural Address of President Rodrigo Duterte Oath-taking of the President of the Philippines Malacañang Palace | June 30, 2016

President Fidel Ramos, sir, salamat po sa tulong mo making me President; President Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Senate President Franklin Drilon and the members of the Senate; Speaker Feliciano Belmonte and the members of the House of Representatives; Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court; His Excellency Guiseppe Pinto and the members of the Diplomatic Corps; incoming members of the Cabinet; fellow workers in government; my fellow countrymen. [applause]

No leader, however strong, can succeed at anything of national importance or significance unless he has the support and cooperation of the people he is tasked to lead and sworn to serve.

It is the people from whom democratic governments draw strength and this administration is no exception. That is why we have to listen to the murmurings of the people, feel their pulse, supply their needs and fortify their faith and trust in us whom they elected to public office. [applause]

There are many amongst us who advance the assessment that the problems that bedevil our country today which need to be addressed with urgency, are corruption, both in the high and low echelons of government, criminality in the streets, and the rampant sale of illegal drugs in all strata of Philippine society and the breakdown of law and order. True, but not absolutely so. For I see these ills as mere symptoms of a virulent social disease that creeps and cuts into the moral fiber of Philippine society. I sense a problem deeper and more serious than any of those mentioned or all of them put together. But of course, it is not to say that we will ignore them because they have to be stopped by all means that the law allows.

Erosion of faith and trust in government – that is the real problem that confronts us. Resulting therefrom, I see the erosion of the people’s trust in our country’s leaders; the erosion of faith in our judicial system; the erosion of confidence in the capacity of our public servants to make the people’s lives better, safer and healthier. [applause]

Indeed ours is a problem that dampens the human spirit. But all is not lost.

I know that there are those who do not approve of my methods of fighting criminality, the sale and use of illegal drugs and corruption. They say that my methods are unorthodox and verge on the illegal. In response let me say this:

I have seen how corruption bled the government of funds, which were allocated for the use in uplifting the poor from the mire that they are in.

I have seen how illegal drugs destroyed individuals and ruined family relationships.

I have seen how criminality, by means all foul, snatched from the innocent and the unsuspecting, the years and years of accumulated savings. Years of toil and then, suddenly, they are back to where they started.

Look at this from that perspective and tell me that I am wrong.

In this fight, I ask Congress and the Commission on Human Rights and all others who are similarly situated to allow us a level of governance that is consistent to our mandate. The fight will be relentless and it will be sustained. [applause]

As a lawyer and a former prosecutor, I know the limits of the power and authority of the president. I know what is legal and what is not. [applause]

My adherence to due process and the rule of law is uncompromising.[applause]

You mind your work and I will mind mine. [applause and cheers]

“Malasakit;” “Tunay na Pagbabago; Tinud-anay (real) nga Kausaban(change)” [applause] – these are words which catapulted me to the presidency. These slogans were conceptualized not for the sole purpose of securing the votes of the electorate. “Tinud-anay nga kabag-uhan (real change). Mao kana ang tumong sa atong pang-gobyerno (this is the direction of our government).” [applause]

Far from that. These were battle cries articulated by me in behalf of the people hungry for genuine and meaningful change. But the change, if it is to be permanent and significant, must start with us and in us. [applause]

To borrow the language of F. Sionil Jose, we have become our own worst enemies. And we must have the courage and the will to change ourselves.

Love of country, subordination of personal interests to the common good, concern and care for the helpless and the impoverished – these are among the lost and faded values that we seek to recover and revitalize as we commence our journey towards a better Philippines. [applause] The ride will be rough. But come and join me just the same. Together, shoulder to shoulder, let us take the first wobbly steps in this quest.

There are two quotations from revered figures that shall serve as the foundation upon which this administration shall be built.

“The test of government is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide for those who have little.”

– Franklin Delano Roosevelt

[applause]

And from (Abraham) Lincoln I draw this expression:

“You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong; You cannot help the poor by discouraging the rich; You cannot help the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer; You cannot further the brotherhood by inciting class hatred among men.”

[applause]

My economic and financial, political policies are contained in those quotations, though couched in general terms. Read between the lines. I need not go into specifics now. They shall be supplied to you in due time.

However, there are certain policies and specifics of which cannot wait for tomorrow to be announced.

Therefore, I direct all department secretaries and the heads of agencies to reduce requirements and the processing time of all applications, [applause] from the submission to the release. I order all department secretaries and heads of agencies to remove redundant requirements and compliance with one department or agency, shall be accepted as sufficient for all. [applause]

I order all department secretaries and heads of agencies to refrain from changing and bending the rules government contracts, transactions and projects already approved and awaiting implementation. [applause] Changing the rules when the game is on-going is wrong.

I abhor secrecy and instead advocate transparency [applause] in all government contracts, projects and business transactions from submission of proposals to negotiation to perfection and finally, to consummation.

Do them and we will work together. [applause] Do not do them, we will part sooner than later. [applause]

On the international front and community of nations, let me reiterate that the Republic of the Philippines will honor treaties and international obligations. [applause]

On the domestic front, my administration is committed to implement all signed peace agreements in step with constitutional and legal reforms.

I am elated by the expression of unity among our Moro brothers and leaders, and the response of everyone else to my call for peace.

I look forward to the participation of all other stakeholders, particularly our indigenous peoples, to ensure inclusivity in the peace process. [applause]

Let me remind in the end of this talk, that I was elected to the presidency to serve the entire country. I was not elected to serve the interests of any one person or any group or any one class. I serve every one and not only one. [applause]

That is why I have adapted as an article of faith, the following lines written by someone whose name I could no longer recall. He said:

“I have no friends to serve, I have no enemies to harm.” [applause]

Prescinding therefrom, I now ask everyone, and I mean everyone, to join me as we embark on this crusade for a better and brighter tomorrow.

But before I end, let me express the nations, on behalf of the people, our condolences to the Republic of Turkey of what has happened in the place. We offer our deepest condolences.

Why am I here? Hindi kasali ito diyan. [laughs] The past tense was, I am here because I love my country and I love the people of the Philippines. I am here, why? Because I am ready to start my work for the nation. [applause]

Thank you and good afternoon.

NUJP denounces the harassment of its US-based members by suspected INC security men

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines denounces the harassment of our US-based colleagues Steve Angeles, reporter of ABS-CBN, and Nimfa Rueda, Philippine Daily Inquirer correspondent and NUJP-US chair, by apparent security men as they tried to cover the dedication of an Iglesia ni Cristo church in Bakersfield, California on February 20.

Angeles, in particular, was also singled out by INC members who vented their anger on him for what they perceived to be his network’s bias in covering the continuing controversy hounding the church. Others also blocked his attempts to shoot footage with placards.

The “men in black” also tailed the two reporters, videotaping them and taking shots of the license plate of Angeles’ car and loudly considering grabbing the ABS-CBN reporter’s camera. All this happened while the two journalists were outside the church compound, therefore in public space.

While the NUJP recognizes and respects the right of INC members to air their grievances against media entities they feel – rightly or wrongly – are biased against them, their freedom to do so does not include harassment or worse, and especially not of individual journalists merely going about their work.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time members of the church have gone beyond the bounds of free speech to threaten and actually physically assault journalists who happen to be working for news outfits they do not agree with. Colleagues were also attacked during the INC shutdown of EDSA last year. This leads us to consider that our call at the time to the leadership of the INC to compel their followers to respect press freedom and the role independent media play in our national life was either ignored or they unable to do so. Either way does not speak well of any religion.

Nevertheless, we once again call on the INC hierarchy to display true leadership and statesmanship and spare everyone not party to your conflicts from being victimized by partisans on either side of the divide.

In the face of this, we urge all our colleagues covering the continuing troubles within the INC to take extra care and immediately report any attempt to influence their work through intimidation or worse but to stand firm against curtailing our rights to pursue our profession and our duties to inform the people. We support any legal action our US colleagues may choose to take against this assault on their persons and profession.

​Reference:
RYAN D. ROSAURO
09278652343​

China: Urgently Release Seriously Ill Journalist 15 Organizations Urge President Xi Jinping to Free Gao Yu, Others

(New York, August 6, 2015) – Fifteen human rights and press freedom organizations are urging Chinese President Xi Jinping to immediately release seriously ill journalist Gao Yu from prison. In a letter, the organizations also called for the release of all those held for the peaceful expression of their political views and in need of medical attention, as well as access to adequate medical care for all prisoners.

Gao, 71, has been incarcerated since her apprehension in April 2014 for allegedly leaking an internal Chinese Communist Party document disparaging human rights. In April 2015, she was convicted after an unfair trial and sentenced to seven years in prison. Gao suffers from chronic heart pain, high blood pressure, and other diseases. After her detention center allowed her a full checkup, a doctor found signs of blockages in her heart arteries and abnormal lymph node growth that could be malign.

“Since Gao Yu’s unjust imprisonment, her health has only deteriorated further,” saidSophie RichardsonChina director at Human Rights Watch. “Beijing has shown cruel disregard for the health of imprisoned critics of the government, as evidenced by the deaths in custody of Cao Shunli and Tenzin Delek Rinpoche. Gao should be released immediately to get the medical care she needs.”

The organizations called on President Xi to:

Immediately release journalist Gao Yu;

Release all prisoners – especially those in poor health – incarcerated for the peaceful exercise of their political views;

Ensure that all prisoners receive prompt access to adequate medical care;

Accept an independent, international investigation into the deaths in custody of Tibetan monk Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and activist Cao Shunli; and

Allow prison visits by the United Nations expert on torture.
The 15 organizations include Amnesty International, China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group, The Committee to Protect Journalists, The Committee to Support Chinese Lawyers, Freedom House, Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements of China, Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union, Human Rights in China, Human Rights Watch, Independent Chinese PEN Center, Justice and Peace Commission of the Hong Kong Catholic Diocese, PEN American Center, Reporters Without Borders, Solidarité Chine, and Tiananmen Mothers Campaign.

 

 

Journalist missing after investigative report

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its affiliate the Indian Journalists Union (IJU) express serious concern following the disappearance of Indian journalist Chayan Sarkar in West Bengal. The IFJ and the IJU demand urgent action by the authorities to investigate the disappearance and the deteriorating safety situation for media workers across India.

Sarkar, the Alipurduar district correspondent of the Uttar Banga Samvad daily, was last seen on Sunday, August 2. His disappearance is believed to be linked with an investigative report he published on July 28, regarding unofficial payments to guarantee admissions into graduation courses to colleges in Alipurduar. After the reports were published Sarkar received threats and supporters of the state’s ruling party held a demonstration out the front of his home.

On August 2, Sarkar received a phone call at 7.30pm and went out. He was last seen near Salsalabari railway station. His motorbike was recovered that night near Salsalabari market with his wallet and ID card in a nearby bush. His phones are still missing and switched off.

In a statement, the IJU President S N Sinha, Vice-President Ambati Anjaneyulu and Secretary-General Amar Devulapalli expressed concerns that Sarkar’s life may be in danger as he might have been abducted.

The IJU said: “It is strange that no clue is available on the missing of the journalist even after four days raises questions over the investigation process, notwithstanding the assertions of state government spokespersons that the police are conducting a special drive to trace him.”

The IJU noted that some local leaders of the ruling party had threatened the journalist after his exposé of the scam. The IJU criticized the involvement of leaders of the ruling party in the disappearance.

The IJU leaders urged the Press Council of India (PCI) to immediately intervene and direct the West Bengal government to take immediate steps to find the missing journalist.

The IFJ said: “The IFJ is seriously concerned by the disappearance of Chayan Sarkar and demands immediate action. The IFJ also condemns the government inaction to provide security to Sarkar prior to his disappearance following the threats and demonstration against him.”

The IFJ added: “The number of threats and attacks on journalists has sharply risen in India in recent months, and the IFJ urge the Indian government to take necessary steps urgently to ensure journalists’ safety.”

Stop bullying media

Statement
16 June 2015

The threat by the House Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability to cite The Standard reporter Christine Herrera in contempt unless she names members of the House of Representatives who allegedly received bribes to approve the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law is a brazen act of bullying.

Cavite Rep. Elpidio Barzaga’s move to cite Ms. Herrera in contempt reveals not only his ignorance or but also his propensity to violate the law that legislators like him created.

The law was precisely enacted to protect sources of reporters and the journalists themselves against any attempt to force them to identify sources who have offered information on the condition of anonymity.

We are certain our lawmakers are fully aware of Republic Act 53, or the Sotto Law, Section 1 of which clearly says:
The publisher, editor or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation cannot be compelled to reveal the source of any news-report or information appearing in said publication which was related in confidence to such publisher, editor or reporter, unless the court or a House or committee of Congress finds that such revelation is demanded by the interest of the State.

Clearly, Ms. Herrera was in the right to invoke the Sotto Law and refuse to name her confidential sources.

We do not see how anyone in the supposedly august chamber can invoke national security in trying to force Ms. Herrera to divulge any confidential information. House members would do better to undertake their own housecleaning instead of breaking the law to soothe their bruised egos.

Bullying and intimidating Herrera is forcing her to violate one of the basic tenets of journalism on the protection of confidentiality of sources.

This could set a precedent on House investigations involving journalists and poses a threat to the integrity of the media and journalists.

Reference:
Rupert Francis Mangilit
Secretary General