[Philippines] Don’t shoot the messenger

Originally published on the Facebook page of NUJP on 17 September 2018.


NUJP-Cagayan de Oro Chapter Statement: DON’T SHOOT THE MESSENGER

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) – Cagayan de Oro Chapter condemns the malicious and potentially dangerous post of a Facebook group called Huwag Tularan (Don’t emulate) maintained by a certain @philLeaks against Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Julie Alipala. On Monday (17 September 2018), at about 2:30 pm, @philLeaks posted: “Magkano kaya ang binayad kay Julie
Alipala? Pati teroristang Abu Sayyaf pinagtatanggol niya (How much was Julie Alipala paid? She’s now fighting for the Abu Sayyaf terrorists)!” Across the photo of Alipala are the words: “Certified Bayarang Kolumnista (Paid Columnist).” The post has been shared 279 times, 63 emoji reactions, and nine incendiary comments on its thread. A Bong Medina commented: “Dapat ito ang na aambush (She should be ambushed).” While a Ricardo Macapagal posted: “Tokhang yan (Kill her),” on the thread.

The post comes at the heels of Alipala’s report on the seven young Tausug men killed in Patikul, Sulu last Friday. In the report, Alipala cited the relatives who claimed the slain young men were not members of Abu Sayyaf.

While the military has insisted that the young men were killed in a “legitimate encounter,” journalists, worth their salt, are duty-bound to present all sides of an incident. We are independent to the government’s propaganda machine.

As Alipala aptly said in an interview: “I just cant imagine, a reporter diligently doing his or her job, taking all sides of the coin for a complete story will be labelled as terrorist. The military said 7 abu killed. When I checked this info, I was led to wailing families demanding justice for gruesome deaths of 7 fruit pickers. I just cant ignore the cries of mothers, wives and children. In Sulu, if a genuine bandit was killed in a military operation, no one dares to claim the body. But this case is different. Families trooped to military headquarters bravely to secure their loved ones and they made noises against the killing. Hindi mo pwede iignore yan (You can’t ignore that). For including the sides of the victims, I am now labelled as terrorist.”

Stop the harassment! End impunity in the Philippines!



Cong B. Corrales, NUJP Cagayan de Oro Chapter Vice Chairman

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