- Posted February 27, 2013 by
Riot cops accused of hurting photojournalist
By Ben O. Tesiorna
At least six personnel of the Davao City Police Office are accused of hurting a Davao City-based journalist who was covering the ongoing protest rally of hundreds of alleged typhoon victims who barricaded the government welfare agency since February 25, Monday.
On his third day of coverage, Karlos Manlupig of the Philippine Daily Inquirer was inside the premises of the Department of Social Welfare and Development regional office along Suazo Street, Davao City when he was hurt by at least six riot police.
Manlupig said at least six policemen hit him with truncheons in the head, arms and other parts of his body and shoved him using anti-riot shields following a violent dispersal of protesters in the DSWD regional office on Wednesday.
In a released advisory by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines,
Manlupig was quoted as saying that the policemen approached him inside the DSWD compound while he was interviewing one of the protesters arrested by policemen and accused him of being biased and taking photos only of the hurt protesters.
Manlupig said he identified himself as a member of the press and tried to pacify the six by explaining that he had also gotten the side of policemen hurt in the scuffle but was ignored by the six.
In his Facebook account, Manlupig posted "commanding a police anti-riot team to escort a journalist outside the premises of a government office by pushing him using shields and truncheon is very weird. Mabuti walang bukol."
PDI Mindanao Bureau chief Nico Alconaba meanwhile condemned Wednesday's incident.
"The policemen had no right to physically assualt a member of the press who is only doing his job," Alconaba stated.
A day earlier, Manlupig was also hurt while covering the looting inside the DSWD by the typhoon survivors. A cop hit Manlupig with a truncheon mistaking him for one of the looters. The incident was however settled amicably and the erring cop apologized to Manlupig for hitting him with a baton.
Efforts to get the side of DCPO director Sr. Supt. Ronald dela Rosa proved futile as of this writing. It was learned though that Manlupig was able to inform the DCPO chief about the incident with Sr. Supt. dela Rosa saying that what happened was "beyond their control".