Jun 26, 2020

Yesterday, after taping a live report for local radio station DzBB, reporter Mark Makalalad was approached by four uniformed police officers, saying “Sir, media ka ba? Patingin ng ID mo?” 

Makalalad told the police he left it inside their mobile van and took it off while he taped the recording, to which the men replied, “Dapat po nagpaalam kayo sa amin na mag-la-live po kayo.”

But the reporter, having done traffic reports in different areas, knows that no such protocol exists. Regardless, the policemen insisted he seek permission especially if he were to film them, the police.

Today’s experience:I was doing a live traffic report in Marcos Highway (Marikina area) earlier, when a group of 4…

Posted by Mark Gene Makalalad on Thursday, June 25, 2020

Makalalad felt bad about being blamed for something he did not do, so he showed the inquisitive uniformed men his selfie report, emphasizing that he didn’t film any of the men among their ranks.

But what really threw him off was a comment made by one of the policemen, who later told him, “baka kasi sir kalaban ka.”

Later that day in a Facebook post, Makalalad recalls ending the argument in a peaceful manner. But just to make sure, he also confirmed with Joint Task Force COVID Shield Commander Police Lt. Gen. Guillermo Eleazar if such a directive exists. He was told, “walang ganyang instruction, Mark.”

Commenting on this incident, Marikina City police chief Col. Restituto Arcangel said, “I don’t think our troops did something inappropriate considering the circumstances. Hindi nila nakilala si Mark Makalalad dahil hindi siya nakauniform, walang ID, hindi nila napansin na may parked vehicle ng media, and then ’yung gamit ni Mark Makalalad ay cellphone lang at hindi ’yung usual na camera typically used by the media.”

Arcangel also clarified that two of the men who approached Makalalad were members of the Marines.

“Humihingi na lang ako ng mahabang pang-unawa sa lahat sa konting ’di pagkakainitindihan. Ang maganda naman ay nagkakapaliwanagan,” he added.

Reference:NUJP GMA Chapter[Alert] GMA Reporter intimidated by authorities after doing a live report 25 June…

Posted by National Union of Journalists of the Philippines on Thursday, June 25, 2020

What was seemingly absent, however, was a clarification of the “kalaban” comment hurled towards Makalalad. 

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) GMA Chapter denounced the incident and called on the Philippine National Police to probe “the dangerous accusations [sic] of its personnel” against Makalalad.

On a Facebook post, NUJP said “How can we expect them to ‘serve and protect’ a citizenry they view with suspicion to the point where they would brazenly lie about something as ordinary as taking photos or videos in public spaces?

“This is why it is imperative that the PNP leadership get to the bottom of this, sanction the erring policemen, and ensure this never ever happens again by inculcating the true spirit of their motto into each and every uniformed personnel. Not just for the sake of journalists but for everyone.”


Header photo screenshot courtesy of Mark Makalalad

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TAGS: dzbb marcos highway marikina police mark makalalad police press reporter