MANILA, Philippines - Accused of being biased against the police, Davao-based multimedia journalist and Rappler correspondent Karlos Manlupig was hurt by cops while covering the protest at the regional Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) office in Davao City
At least 6 members of the police on Wednesday, February 27, hit Manlupig's head with truncheon and shoved him with anti-riot shields, a statement from the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) said.
Manlupig said the incident happened after he entered the DSWD compound to take pictures and interview some of the angry victims of Typhoon Pablo following another round of confrontation between authorities and protesters.
"I went inside the compound to conduct interviews but I was surprised when the anti-riot team approached me and told me to get the side of the police," Manlupig said.
When he told the cops that he had already taken the side of the police, the cops then told him, "Ano pang ginagawa mo dito? Umalis ka na (What are you still doing here? You should leave.)
Manlupig said he tried to explain that he was a member of the media and insisted that he had already taken pictures of the police. But his explanation fell on deaf ears.
It was not the first time that he was hurt while covering the incident. Manlupig, who is also a correspondent for the Philippine Daily Inquirer (PDI), said the police also hurt him with their batons on Tuesday February 26, when the residents entered the compound.
Rappler condemned the incident, noting that Manlupig has been covering the DSWD story from the time it first broke because the issue is all about government transparency and accountability. (Read: Protesters ransack DSWD office in Davao)
PDI's Mindanao Bureau Chief, Nico Alconaba, also condemned the incident. “The policemen had no right to physically assualt a member of the press who is only doing his job,” Alconaba said in an NUJP statement.
Human Rights Watch Asia research Carlos Conde shared the same sentiment.
Manlupig did not sustain any injuries.By Angela Casauay
27 February 2013
PROTEST. Police hurt multimedia journalist Karlos Manlupig while interviewing one of the protesters in the DSWD office. Photo by Karlos Manlupig