The People’s Alternative Media Network, an organization of over 30 independent media outfits in the Philippines, condemned the shooting of a journalist of alternative media outfit Umani Productions in Bulacan province on January 28.
The journalist, identified as Manuel Garcellano, and his colleague, Reymark Umpacan, were reportedly interviewing farmers in a village in San Jose del Monte town when attacked by armed goons.
“Garcellano and Umpacan were gathered with a team of paralegals and peasant advocates when a group of five guards approached them and fired a warning shot,” said the media network in a statement on Monday, January 31.
The armed men reportedly fired multiple shots at Garcellano.
The guards took the journalist’s camera, his smartphone, camera batteries, audio recorder, SD cards, IDs, and cash. He was also reportedly punched on the face.
Garcellano later reported that he saw the guards firing at the feet of elderly farmers.
“The AlterMidya stands in solidarity with our colleagues in Umani Productions and the San Jose del Monte farmers in seeking accountability,” read a statement from the media network.
“The shooting and intimidation of journalists are a blatant violation of press freedom,” it added.
“Journalists should not be hindered in covering stories especially those that involve human rights abuses against farmers and marginalized sectors,” said the group.