Human rights alliance Karapatan on Tuesday, October 18, decried what it described as the “stepped up State encroachment” on people’s right to privacy amid reports of so-called “visits” to homes of journalists.
Over the weekend, several journalists expressed alarm over the unannounced visits to their homes by members of the Philippine National Police who were purportedly checked on whether the media workers had been receiving threats.
Karapatan secretary general Cristina Palabay slammed the “unsolicited visits” as “blatant invasion of privacy” and “ill-disguised threat and harassment.”
The visits, which were not coordinated with offices of concerned journalists, came days after vlogger and hard-hitting government critic Percy Lapid was gunned down.
Palabay also cited reports that the military has denied media access to civilians who had been forced to evacuate after a series of clashes between the military and communist rebels in Negros Occidental.
“People are being threatened, coerced and intimidated by abusive State forces and no longer feel secure in their persons and their own homes,” said Palabay in a statement.
“We demand that State forces put a stop to their overarching arrogance, and desist from abusing their authority, encroaching on people’s privacy and trampling on the rights of civilians,” she added.