Rappler journalist shoved during Uniteam rally
TWO OF Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr.’s campaign staffers prevented Rappler reporter Lian Buan from interviewing Marcos Jr. at a campaign rally in Quezon City.
On April 13, Buan was attempting to interview the former senator when a security officer shoved the reporter. One of Marcos Jr.’s media officers also pushed aside Buan’s smartphone camera.
A video of the incident recorded Buan’s being pushed against a scaffolding.
Anonymous netizen red-tags reporter
Hours prior to her coverage of the Marcos sortie, an anonymous Twitter user had red-tagged Buan, falsely accusing her of being a communist insurgent.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), of which Buan is the managing director, condemned the attempts to harass and sully the reputation of their colleague. The group stressed that red-tagging endangers Buan and other journalists so labeled who are covering the campaign.
NUJP maintained that it has no “ideological test for membership,” and that the organization accepts members across the political spectrum.
“Asserting press freedom and advocating media workers’ welfare are ideals that are part of the democracy that we say we are living in,” NUJP added in its statement.
Marcos camp admonished: Stop harassing journalists
Rappler issued on April 14 a formal condemnation of the Uniteam staffers’ actions. The news site denounced the use of physical force against Buan, and called on the Marcos camp to stop its harassment of journalists.
The official statement pointed out that “[journalists] pose no security threat – unless the campaign team considers questions from independent media as security threats.”
The Movement Against Disinformation (MAD), a group composed of lawyers, members of the academe, and other rights advocates, stood with Rappler in protesting the Marcos camp’s actions.
MAD argued, “Shoving a journalist aside for doing what her job demands of her makes a mockery of this democracy and puts into question the modicum of respect we afford to those whose jobs involve fact-seeking and truth-telling.”