Harassment of student-journalists by military
The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) denounces the military’s harassment and red-tagging of its officers and members at Ateneo de Naga University (ADNU) and Baao Community College (BCC).
On March 17, police officers, in off-duty clothes, went to the house of Jan Joseph Goingo, CEGP’s vice president for Luzon. Goingo was not present at that time, but he was told that the cops were asking about his family.
On March 23, Jhoan Villanueva, CEGP Bicol’s chair, received a call from BCC administrators telling her that police officers were asking about Liyab, CEGP Bicol’s annual student press convention, which was held last February—and whether BCC students would participate in Lunduyan, CEGP’s Luzon-wide student press convention. The police claimed that the inquiry was initiated to ensure the students’ safety and security. Strangely, the police left a memo for the administrators.
At 3 p.m., AdNU’s Office of Student Affairs (OSA) called Goingo, advising him that another police officer had inquired about The Pillars, AdNU’s official publication. OSA, however, did not identify the staff with whom the police talked; the officer also asked about the whereabouts of Goingo. OSA has not disclosed the content of a memo that the police gave the staff, except to say that it was something that had to do with the security of the students.
Bothered by the police inquiries about her students, The Nexus’ adviser Terry Pitagan went to the PNP office in Baao for explanation. There she was told to stop joining CEGP activities because “rallying” was part of its program. The adviser showed them CEGP’s program of activities, pointing out that rallies were not part of it and that joining a rally was not illegal.
The continuing harassment of CEGP officers and members and other student publications by the military is clearly a State-calibrated assault to sow fear among them and the entire studentry, in pursuance of President Duterte’s counterinsurgency program, Oplan Kapayapaan, which encompasses psywar, combat and intelligence. It is obvious that in advancing the government’s fascist counterinsurgency scheme, student journalists are now targets for “neutralization.”
CEGP will not be cowed by these attacks by the fascist State. CEGP officers and members have been subjected to “psy-war” before, by past administrations—under Oplan Bayanihan and Bantay Laya which were directed at progressive organizations.
CEGP will remain a patriotic and democratic alliance of tertiary publications and will always be at the forefront of every fight to uphold the Filipino people’s democratic rights. CEGP strongly believes that it must act and affirm its commitment to stand up for people against state repression.
We call on our fellow campus journalists, members of the media, and other groups to unite, denounce and resist the State’s attempts at silencing its critics.
JOSE MARI CALLUENG, national president, JAN JOSEPH GOINGO, vice president for Luzon, College Editors Guild of the Philippines
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.