Why do you attack Press Freedom, Sr. Supt. Christopher Tambungan?


Simbolo ng Tunay Na Kalayaan sa Pamamahayag


April 9, 2012


Statement of Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM)


Why do you attack Press Freedom,
Sr. Supt. Christopher Tambungan?



      Lest it is clear in the mind of Olongapo Police Chief Senior Supt. Christopher Tambungan, let him be educated that Press Freedom is ONE OF THE MOST SACRED HUMAN RIGHTS placed in the citadel of all rights in Article III of the 1987 Constitution of the country he work “to protect and to serve.”

          The first sacred right of every person is the right against searches and seizures embodied in Section 2 of the same article. The second sacred right is the right to privacy of communication stated in Section 3 therein.  The third set of sacred rights is stated in Section 4, which includes the Freedom of the Press.

In fact, this third set of rights is treated like a sacrament in the altar of every democratic nation, including the Philippines, because no law can be allowed to pass regulating this right.

Moreover, it is installed like a gift from Heaven by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a treaty signed by all countries that joined the United Nations.


For Colonel Tambungan to know it, let Section 4 of Article III of the 1987 Constitution, among duties you swore to defend, be restated: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of expression, of speech, and of the press…”

To be able to exercise press freedom or freedom of expression, one has to be allowed to get facts to serve as the contents of his or her expressions or press publications or broadcasts.  To prevent the gathering of facts is therefore an ATTACK AGAINST PRESS FREEDOM.

Before specifying the sin of Colonel Tambungan, let it be stressed that PRESS FREEDOM is not only the right of reporters or journalists or whatever animal name you call it.

Press freedom is also your right, Colonel Tambungan.  It is also the right of your kids. It is also the right of your wife or family.  It is also the right of your siblings, your father and your mother. IT IS THE RIGHT OF ALL PEOPLE, media man or not.

So that if you stop anyone from gathering facts of public interest like those pertaining to a hostage drama, you are violating this sacrament of the Constitution.  Much more is the degree of insult if that anyone is a person whose daily work involves the exercise of press freedom.  

As such, YOU ARE SHOOTING YOUR OWN PERSON Colonel Tambungan.


For the sin you have just committed against Press Freedom, rest assured Colonel Tambungan, ALAB NG MAMAMAHAYAG (ALAM) together with National Press Club (NPC) will file against you before the Office of the Ombudsman cases for GRAVE MISCONDUCT, ABUSE OF AUTHORITY and CONDUCT PREJUDICIAL TO THE BEST INTEREST OF THE POLICE SERVICE.

Lucky for you there is no law that imprisons persons violating press freedom.  But we will also file a damage suit for violating Article 32 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

These are the manners how you committed your sins, Colonel Tambungan.

           These facts came from reporters on the field and ALAM and NPC have no reason to doubt their stories.

          In the evening of April 3 on Arthur St., West Bajac-Bajac, Olongapo City, a reporter of Pilipino Star Ngayon, Mahatma Randy Veloria Datu, was covering a hostage drama and along with fellow journalists Datu had just entered the compound where the incident was in progress.

         When you saw him, you shouted at Datu: “HOY, IKAW, ANONG PANGALAN MO? ANONG PAPEL MO RITO?”

            Datu politely introduced himself as a reporter of PN Star Ngayon but you continued your outrage, shouting as follows: “HINDI KA KAILANGAN DITO, LUMABAS KA DITO!”

            Right there and then, you raised your fist and tried to slap or punch him. 

           But you still restrained yourself. However, you held Datu on his right shoulder and pushed him hard out of the compound.  The reporter fell on the ground.  But you, Colonel Tambunga, did not stop until the journalist was already out of the compound.


            In doing so, you degraded the dignity of all reporters and Press Freedom because you did that assault against the Press in front of so many people kibitzing the hostage drama.

            Why, Colonel Tambungan?  Why?

           The reporters of Olongapo and those from other parts of Central Luzon complained to Chief Supt, Edgardo Ladao, Central Luzon Police director.  However, ALAM and NPC have not heard what happened.

            Are you bent on protecting Colonel Tambungan, General Ladao?

In his affidavit, Datu stated that one policeman called the attention of reporters upon the order of Tambungan because the hostage taker wanted to talk to a media man.

So that Datu, Jeff Callos of dzMM, Julie Sionzon of GMA-7 and Johnny Reblando of dzX responded to the call for assistance.  That was a civic duty performed without getting any salary from the government, UNLIKE YOU, COLONEL TAMBUNGAN.

Clearly, Datu was there to be of help but Tambungan was also there to assault him and press freedom.

Explain in three (3) days, Colonel Christopher Tambungan or these cases mentioned above are forthcoming.

Remember that the degree of proof required is only substantial evidence to prove your guilt and there are sufficient witnesses to prove you are guilty, Colonel Tambungan.

If you are proven guilty, YOU WILL BE REMOVED FROM THE POLICE SERVICE and slapped with moral damages, exemplary damages and attorney’s fees.





 (SGD) JERRY SIA YAP
Chairman, Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM)
President, National Press Club



(SGD) BERTENI “TOTO” CATALUÑA CAUSING
President, Alab ng Mamamahayag (ALAM)
Legal Counsel, National Press Club


Annex:


Contents of the Sworn Statement of the PN Star Ngayon reporter

Ako, si MAHATMA RANDY VELORIA DATU, nasa hustong gulang, nakatira sa #10A Draper St. West Tapinac, Olongapo City at correspondent ng PILIPINO STAR NGAYON, ay naghahain ng reklamo laban kay Olongapo City Police director Senior Superintendent Christopher Tambungan dahil sa ginawang harassment sa akin habang ginaganap sa aking tungkulin bilang kagawad ng media.
Noong Abril 3, 2012 bandang ika-10:00 ng gabi ay nakarating sa aking kaalaman ang nagaganap na hostage taking sa Arthur St, West Bajac-Bajac, Olongapo City,  kung kaya ako ay nagtungo sa pook na binanggit upang i-cover ito bilang kagawad ng media.
Ika-10:30 ng gabi, habang sinusubaybayan ng mga local-based media at reporter ang ginagawang pakikipagnegosasyon ng mga pulis at rescue team ng Olongapo City sa hostage taker ay hiniling ng hostage taker sa kapulisan na makausap nito ang kahit isang reporter o kagawad ng media.
Upang mapagbigyan ang kahilingan ng hostage taker, isang pulis ang nagpatawag sa amin (mga nagkokober na reporter) at sinabing utos umano ni City Director na ang tinutukoy ay si Olongapo City police director Senior Superintendent Christopher Tambungan na noon ay nasa loob ng compound na katatagpuan ng bahay kung saan nagaganap ang hostage taking.
Ilang kagawad ng media ang sumama sa pulis kabilang ako, Randy Datu (Pilipino Star Ngayon), Jeff Gallos (DZMM), Julie Sionzon (GMA7), Johnny Reblando (DZXL).
Habang kami nakikinig sa gagawing plano ni Tambungan ay napansin niya at nakilala ako at saka nilapitan at sinigawan ng, “Hoy, ikaw! Anong pangalan mo?”
Magalang akong nagpakilala at sinabi ang aking pangalan at kinauugnayang pahayagan, “Si Randy Datu po ng Pilipino Star Ngayon.”

Muli ay tinanong niya ako, “Anong papel mo rito?”
Bilang sagot sa tanong ni Director Tambungan na ako po ay reporter ng Pilipino Star Ngayon na nagkokober ng hostage taking.
Gayunman, ako ay sinigawan ng opisyal at sinabihan ng, “Hindi ka kailangan dito. Lumabas ka dito!” at itinaas ang kamay at umambang sasampalin ako. Subalit, sa halip na sampalin ay hinawakan ako sa kanang balikat at pinupwersang pakanan para ilabas ng gate ng compound.
Nang ako ay nasa direksyon na papalabas ng compound ay aking naramdaman ang biglang pagkaldag sa aking likuran upang ako ay itulak palabas ng gate na muntik ko nang ikasubsob.
Ang pangyayari ay nasaksihan ng maraming kagawad ng pulis-Olongapo, mga kasamahan sa media at hindi mabilang na residente na noon ay sumusubaybay sa nangyayari sa loob ng compound. Dahil sa ginawa sa akin ni Tambungan ay labis akong napahiya at pakiramdam ko ay minaliit ang akong pagkatao at dignidad.
Higit sa lahat, maliban sa physical harassment na ginawa sa akin, nilabag din ni Tambungan ang karapatan ko bilang mamamahayag na ikober ang insidente, lalo na at naroon kami sa loob ng compound dahil ipinatawag niya kami sa kanyang tauhan.

(Sgd) Mahatma Randy Veloria Datu
(Notarized)
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