NUJP hits cyber attacks on Time magazine reporters
( - September 20, 2016 - 12:28pm

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – A journalist group slammed the recent social media attacks on freelance journalist Gretchen Malalad and Al Jazeera correspondent Jamela Alindogan-Caudron for collaborating with the Time magazine on a report on extrajudicial killings under the present administration.

The attacks against the two on Facebook “have gone beyond legitimate criticism of their professional output to outright threats on their persons,” according to Ryan Rosauro, chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).

Rosauro said they welcome engagement, including criticism from the audience

“However, we will never take any threats, whether of physical harm or to silence us, lightly for we have lost far too many of our colleagues and hardly seen justice for them,” he said.

The journalist group is hoping that a special task force will be created to investigate the media killings and other threats against the Philippine press.

The NUJP chair also called on Communications Secretary Martin Andanar to immediately cause an investigation and take action against the open threats against Malalad and Alindogan-Caudron to ensure that none of these are carried out.

The NUJP is also urging journalists to report any and all threats directed against them for proper documentation and for action by appropriate law enforcement bodies.

Rosauro also urged the administration to end its penchant for constantly blaming the media for any controversy arising from President Rodrigo Duterte’s choice of words.

“As communicators, we are only too aware of the power of words, especially when uttered by those in positions of leadership, for these may be, and have many times been, taken as gospel truth and a license to precipitate action by true believers,” the NUJP chair said.

“It is our duty to report events as faithfully as we can. To blame us for the consequences of what those we cover utter or do is tantamount to asking us to abrogate our duties and be silent. This we cannot and will never do,” he added.

Rosauro said that journalists helped shine the light on the dark deeds of the Marcos dictatorship and continued to scrutinize each and every administration without fear or favor despite the dangers they face.

“We will continue to do so and to oppose any attempts to stifle press freedom, a freedom that, incidentally, does not belong to us but to the people, whose right to know that freedom serves,” he said.

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