(A joint statement of the Iloilo Provincial Capitol Press Corps and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines–Iloilo)
WE, MEMBERS OF THE ILOILO MEDIA, condemn the manhandling of photojournalist Guijo Dueñas of Panay News and Philippine Daily Inquirer by a group of protesters allied with the Alab Katipunan and Bukluran ng Progresibong Magbubukid ng Pilipinas on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2015.
Mr. Dueñas suffered bruises on his left arm where he was held by the protesters.
We also deplore the confiscation of Mr. Dueñas’ equipment, a digital single-lens reflex camera, which the protesters grabbed and returned only after he went home to get and later present his press identification card (ID).
While we recognize that journalists have the responsibility to carry and wear a press ID during coverage, the lack of such ID does not justify forcibly restraining the journalist and confiscating his equipment.
Mr. Dueñas passed by the protesters by chance and decided to cover the public event. He even showed them other pictures stored in his camera to prove his identity.
We also lament the apparent inaction of police officers who saw the incident but did nothing even after Mr. Dueñas sought their assistance.