Army asked to apologize for red-tagging journalist
Artemio Dumlao (The Philippine Star) - December 1, 2015 - 9:00am

BAGUIO CITY, Philippines – Journalists are asking the military to issue a public apology over its statement supposedly linking a former chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) to the communist movement.

The NUJP said Capt. Patrick Martinez, information officer of the Army’s 4th Infantry Division (ID), has been spreading lies in an attempt to clear his office of any responsibility arising from a statement he issued against Inday Espina-Varona.

NUJP secretary general JB Deveza said the 4th ID quoted last week a statement of Col. Alexander Macario, chief of the 401st Infantry Brigade, which showed the military was reacting to an article written by Varona.

In the article, Varona purportedly accused soldiers of committing arson.

Deveza said Varona was merely sharing on her Facebook account an alert issued by the human rights organization Karapatan.

The 4th ID statement, which said the New People’s Army was responsible for the arson, insinuated that the only way for Varona to obtain the news of the incident was from the arsonists themselves.

In a statement published in a Cagayan de Oro community paper, Martinez denied linking Varona to the communist and claimed he merely issued an advisory in response to what she posted on her social media account.

Martinez said his statement was meant to reach out to the public who read Varona’s posts on social media.

ALEXANDER MACARIO CAPT DEVEZA FACEBOOK INDAY ESPINA-VARONA INFANTRY BRIGADE INFANTRY DIVISION NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES NEW PEOPLE PATRICK MARTINEZ VARONA
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