NUJP holds press freedom caravan for jailed Davao journalist

by: Abigail Kwok, INQUIRER.net

MANILA, Philippines — Calling for press freedom and journalists’ rights, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Davao chapter protested the allegedly illegal incarceration of convicted broadcaster Alexander Adonis by staging a freedom caravan in Davao City on Tuesday.

In a phone interview, NUJP-Davao treasurer Cheryll Fiel said the caravan, joined by around 30 broadcast, print, radio, and online journalists, took off from the Freedom Park on Roxas Boulevard at around 8:30 a.m. for the Davao Penal Colony (Dapecol).

Armed with banners that read “Free Adonis,” the group personally handed Bureau of Corrections regional director Venancio Tesoro a copy of the petition for a writ of habeas corpus filed by NUJP on behalf of Adonis.

Adonis, who was convicted of libel for a series of commentaries naming House Speaker Prospero Nograles as the man who ran naked from a Manila hotel after he was caught by his reported paramour’s husband, was charged with a second libel suit, this time by the woman he mentioned.

However, even after posting the P5,000 bail granted him by the court on May 27, Dapecol officials refused to release Adonis, claiming they needed to inform “higher correctional authorities” before doing so.

“This is an action protest against Dapecol for refusing to release Adonis even though there’s already an order issued to for his release,” Fiel said.

“[Adonis’ detention] undermines constitutionally guaranteed rights and there is no valid reason for Dapecol to hold Adonis,” she added.

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