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Filipino correspondent attacked by police for alleged "bias"

(CMFR/IFEX) - Police officers mauled a correspondent-photojournalist covering the supposed raid by disaster victims of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) office in Davao City last 27 February 2013. Davao City is about 1,500 kilometers south of Manila.

Karlos Manlupig, a correspondent for the Manila-based Philippine Daily Inquirer, told CMFR in a phone interview that police officers stopped him from interviewing two individuals who had been arrested by the police and brought him into the compound of the DSWD for questioning.

The individuals were part of a group of victims of the 2012 typhoon Pablo (International name: 'Bopha') from Compostela Valley who 'raided' the DSWD compound and took relief goods that they said were not being distributed to them. Compostela Valley is about 170 kilometers northwest of Davao City.

"A police officer approached us and asked why I was taking pictures only of injured civilians and not of injured police officers; he said I was being biased," Manlupig said in Filipino.

Even after showing his press ID and asserting his prerogative to decide what and how to cover the event, the police officer ordered his forced removal from the compound, Manlupig said.

Around six to ten police officers allegedly used truncheons to push Manlupig out of the compound, pinning him to the gates with their shields.

Manlupig was not able to get the name of the police officer who ordered his removal but said he was able to report the incident to the chief of police, Senior Supt. Ronald Dela Rosa, who was also in the area.

Philippine Daily Inquirer Mindanao Bureau chief Nico Alconaba told CMFR in a phone interview that he condemns the incident as it was a deliberate attack on the press. He added that the incident had been caught on video by other media practitioners in the area.

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