GSIS VP sues journalists, execs for alleged wiretapping

A Government Service Insurance System (GSIS) vice president filed three separate suits against Probe host Che-che Lazaro and 18 other ABS-CBN personnel, including its president Charo Santos-Concio last Monday for alleged violations of the anti-wiretapping law.
According to news reports, the complaints of GSIS VP Ella Valencerina were based on an airing of a phone conversation she had with Lazaro last November 11 on the controversial premium-based policy of the GSIS.
Valencerina claimed Lazaro taped the said conversation without her consent and Probe aired it last November 12 over ABS-CBN and replayed over the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).
Estrella Elamparo, GSIS chief legal counsel, said the Probe episode clearly violated the law as it was not an interview but a private phone conversation.
Valencerina cited Section 1 of the Anti-wiretapping Law: “It shall be unlawful for any person, not being authorized by all the parties to any private communication or spoken word, to tap any wire or cable, or by using any other device or arrangement, to secretly overhear, intercept, or record such communication.”
The penalty for illegal wiretapping is six years’ imprisonment.
ABS-CBN officials said they have not received a copy of the complaint filed by the GSIS, but they would look into its merits and publicly disclose what they find.
Earlier this month, GSIS president Winston Garcia also filed libel suits against seven journalists after they tackled the sale of GSIS shares in Manila Electric Co. (Meralco) that allegedly involved a P3-billion commission for Garcia or another person who brokered the deal.

The libel cases, filed on Nov. 10 with the Pasay prosecutor’s office, were against Philippine Star opinion editor Ramon Lim and columnist Federico Pascual Jr., Business Mirror opinion editor Lynn Ressureccion and columnists Raul Valino and Lito Gagni, Manila Times editor in chief Rene Bas and columnist Dan Mariano, and Antonio Tinio, president of the Alliance of Concerned Teachers, who Garcia said was the source of information of the newspaper columnists. #

IFJ-NUJP Media Safety Office


Police colonel harasses Zamboanga journalist

The deputy chief officer of the Traffic Management Group (TMG) in Zamboanga City allegedly harassed Monday afternoon a reporter for Radio Mindanao Network in Zamboanga City.

Santos Cortez, 29, was interviewing deputy chief Supt. Daniel Mayoni at the TMG office in Camp Batalla when the police officer suddenly raised his voice, saying, “Patayin mo yan, patayin mo yan, gago ka pala dinadaya mo ako.” (Turn it off, turn it off, you fool, you’re making a fool out of me) after the reporter placed nearer the recording device. Mayoni then snatched the device and slammed it on the table.

However, Cortez said Mayoni was aware that he was being recorded from the start.

“I was really embarrassed and afraid of his actions. It was my first time to encounter such behavior from a police colonel,” Cortez said.

The NUJP-Zambasulta Chapter tried but failed to talk to Mayoni about the incident. #

IFJ-NUJP Media Safety Office

Hoping for Change

Anthony Chua

The moment Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama has been elected president of the United States, the world was astonished. For the first time in US history a black has officially become resident of the White House. And for the first time, America, being the land of the free and a melting pot of various races has finally picked a minority, more so a black, to lead them.

Change has indeed permeated in the previously discriminating and prejudiced American psyche. And this means a lot to US allies such as the Philippines.
The Filipino nation has always been a loyal ally to the Americans. Yet despite this, Filipino veterans, who fought valiantly alongside American soldiers during World War 2, have been properly honored unlike their counterparts in other countries. This is just one of the tales of discrimination faced by Filipinos in the largest bastion of democracy in the world.

And now that an president of African descent has taken the helm to steer US economy out from its disappointing slump, different nationalities the world over see Barack Obama as a savior, a hope that the US and world need for economic recovery and a new world order, a world where racist and prejudiced thinking would be replaced with equal treatment to all irrespective of race, culture, and religion, a world that would see America again as the global leader of peace and economic opportunity. Obama has a colossal task waiting for him in January next year. And Filipinos hope we’re part of his agenda for change for a better world.

The Filipino people have long been victims of discrimination. We just hope President Barack Obama, the 44th chief executive of the world’s most powerful nation shall look at Filipinos as friends, and not just tools for their global preponderance.

Masbate businessman assaults radio broadcaster

On Sunday, Nov 16, at about 11:15 am, a Masbate broadcaster who was
assisting passengers of a passenger ferry get refunds was assaulted by
the manager of ferry operator Lobrigo Lines in Mobo town.

Cris “Bigwas” Asebuque, anchor of the daily afternoon program
“Bigwasan sa Radyo” over dyME in Masbate and publisher of the weekly
paper “Bigwasan sa Diyaryo” suffered a wound over his left eye when
John Marc Viceo allegedly hit him with a gun.

Viceo, who is also the former SK Federation president and son-in-law
of Mobo Councilor Nestor Lobrigo, arrived at the ticketing office and
without any warning,allegedly struck Asebuque.

Fearing for his life, Asebuque immediately ran to maritime police
office. Although there were allegedly two policemen in the ticketing
office, they failed to arrest Viceo.

Colleagues later told Asebuque, who is also the Vice-president of the
Masbate Tri-media Club that Viceo and some companions followed the
broadcaster to a hospital where he sought treatment but missed him.

Asebuque was also told that Viceo was irked over blind item reports
and commentaries the broadcaster made before linking the latter to the
shooting of a barangay captain.
Asebuque has already reported the incident to police and plans to file
a formal complaint versus Viceo.
He also learned from police that Viceo has filed a complaint against
him, accusing him of stealing P12,000 from their office during the

Presently, the broadcaster is still recovering from his injuries and
is unable to work. #

IFJ – NUJP Media Safety Office

Radio Commentator Shot Dead in the Philippines

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is outraged and saddened to report that radio broadcaster Aristeo Padrigao was murdered this morning. He is the sixth journalist to be killed in the Philippines this year.
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), an IFJ affiliate, Padrigao, a commentator for the Radyo Natin morning program Sayre ang Katilingban (Know the Society) in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental province, was shot dead by unidentified suspects on a motorcycle soon after delivering his child to school.
While the motive for the killing is unclear, it is believed Padrigao was killed for his work as a journalist.
“The horrific pattern of antagonism and violence against journalists in the Philippines is a disgrace and must end,” IFJ Asia-Pacific said.
“It is a gross failure on the part of the Government and police force that journalists continue to lose their lives in the struggle to protect and uphold press freedom and freedom of expression for all people in the Philippines.”
Standing in solidarity with all journalists in the Philippines in their courageous work, the IFJ joins the NUJP in demanding immediate action to investigate and bring the perpetrators of the murder of Padrigao and other journalists to justice.
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +612 9333 0919
The IFJ represents over 600,000 journalists in 120 countries worldwide

CMFR Philippines alert: Radio broadcaster gunned down

CMFR/Philippines— A broadcaster was shot November 17 by a killer onboard a motorcycle in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental, a province about 785 kilometers south of Manila. He was the fifth Filipino journalist killed in the line of duty this year.

Aresio Padrigao, 55, of dxRS Radyo Natin (Our Radio) had just dropped off his daughter in front of the Bukidnon State University when he was killed by an assassin riding tandem on a motorcycle. The incident happened at about 7:15 in the morning (local time). Police have yet to determine the motive behind the incident. No arrests have been made.

Padrigao was the sixth journalist to be killed in 2008, five of whom were killed in relation to their work as journalists. The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) recorded two journalists killed in the line of duty in 2007.

Padrigao anchored “Sayri ang Katilingban, ” (Know the People) a block-time radio program for dxRS Radyo Natin aired every Friday. Padrigao criticized local government corruption as well as illegal logging activities in his province on his program. He also wrote a column for the community newspaper Mindanao Monitor Today.

Block-timing is a practice in the Philippine provinces where “blocks” of radio time are bought by individuals for their program. Payments are usually generated by the program’s advertisements.

Toto Gancia, a radio announcer for dxRS Radyo Natin, told CMFR that Padrigao had received threats prior to his killing.

“His (Padrigao’s) wife told me that he received threats prior to his killing. The threats told him in effect that he would not live til Christmas,” Gancia said.

Like many other journalists who have received death threats, Padrigao did not take the threats seriously.

CMFR has recorded 75 journalists killed in the line of duty since 1986, 37 of which were slain during the present administration of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo. There have been no convictions of the masterminds, while only two cases out of the 37 have yielded convictions for the gunmen.

Radio broadcaster shot dead in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental

A radio broadcaster was shot dead early Monday morning by two unidentified suspects in front of the gate of the Bukidnon State University in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

Reports from colleagues and local police identified the victim as Arecio Padrigao, commentator in the morning program “Sayre ang Katilingban” (Know the Society) over Radyo Natin in Gingoog City.

Padrigao was immediately brought to the hospital but was pronounced dead afterwards. He was ambushed by the motorcycle-riding suspects while dropping off his son at the university.

Padrigao is the 6th journalist killed this year and the 61st since 2001.

IFJ-NUJP Media Safety Office