9 March 2011

Alert

Drug enforcement officer threatens television news team


Incident details

Harassment, Threat

Jay Dayupay, Journalist
Randy Estrella, Camera operator
(CMFR/IFEX) - An agent of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) angered by media criticism of the agency allegedly threatened a television news team which was covering the arrest of a drug trafficking suspect on 1 March 2011 in General Santos City. General Santos City is a chartered city approximately 1,049 kilometers south of Manila.

The incident happened while the news team of the ABS-CBN Broadcasting Company was at the PDEA Region XII office in General Santos City to conduct interviews on the joint raid carried out by the PDEA and the Sarangani provincial police in Maitum town, Sarangani.

Reporter Jay Dayupay said Special Investigator 2 Raymund Parama tried to stop cameraman Randy Estrella from taking footage of the alleged suspect arrested in the raid. Parama allegedly told the cameraman in Filipino, "If that ever gets aired, you better watch out."

Dayupay asked the PDEA agent why he was being hostile. The PDEA agent allegedly answered: "You have been criticizing us (PDEA) about the arrest (of alleged drug traffickers) in Silway, General Santos City."

Dayupay told CMFR on 7 March that the PDEA agent was allegedly irked over an ABS-CBN report on the complaints of the residents of Silway, General Santos City on another PDEA raid. The residents alleged that the PDEA agents did not coordinate with village officials, were intoxicated during the raid, and were indiscriminate in arresting people.

PDEA Region XII spokesperson Wilson Esparcia told the ABS-CBN news team that the PDEA agents were demoralized by the network's story on the Silway residents' complaints, Dayupay said.

Dayupay and Estrella have reported the incident to the General Santos City police's Investigation, Detection, and Management Section (IDMS).

Dayupay said the local chapter of the Association of Broadcasters of the Philippines (KBP) and PDEA officials were scheduled to meet on 7 March to discuss the incident and other instances of alleged PDEA harassment against media practitioners in the Sarangani and General Santos area.

Source:

Putting free expression issues in perspective.

Sign up to receive IFEX In Context.

Philippines

IFEX members working in this country 1

 
More from Philippines
  • Freedom on the Net 2017: Philippines

    Websites run by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines were disabled by cyberattacks

  • Freedom of the Press 2017: Philippines

    Two people were convicted of murdering journalists in 2016. Nevertheless, the Philippines remains one of the most dangerous places in the world to practice journalism, and violent attacks against media workers usually go unpunished.

  • Freedom of the Press 2016: Philippines

    Impunity for crimes against journalists was compounded by a lack of progress in trials related to the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, an election-related crime in which 32 journalists and other media staff were among the 58 people killed.

 
IFEX is a global network of committed organisations working to defend and promote free expression.
Permission is granted for material on this website to be reproduced or republished in whole or in part provided the source member and/or IFEX is cited with a link to the original item.