News Photographer Threatened by City Councilor
CMFR/PHILIPPINES- A news photographer was allegedly threatened by a city councilor on 22 April 2017.
In a report by The Manila Times, Jayson Drew, photographer for tabloid Pilipino Mirror, chanced upon a vehicular accident along Alabang-Zapote road past midnight of April 22. Danilo Hernandez, Las Piñas City District 2 councilor, was allegedly involved in the road mishap.
When Drew started taking photographs and interviewing the people involved in the incident, Hernandez—who Drew described as drunk at the time—cursed at the photographer and threatened to shoot him. Drew claimed that Hernandez bragged about his being a city councilor.
The National Press Club (NPC) was alarmed by the attack, saying in an April 24 press statement that the incident “showed that the ‘culture of impunity’ that has resulted in so many tragedies involving members of the press remains ingrained in the minds of those in position of authority.” Paul Gutierrez, NPC president, said their organization relayed the matter to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFOMS) for investigation and action. PTFOMS sent separate letters to Las Pinas Mayor Imelda Aguilar and to the city council informing them of the incident.
CMFR called the office of Councilor Hernandez on May 5 to follow up on the matter. His staff said that Drew, Hernandez and Las Piñas City Vice Mayor Luis Bustamante had already discussed the incident in a closed-door meeting last May 4. CMFR tried to contact Drew for updates, but he was not responding.