MANILA, Philippines The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Wednesday called on the leadership of the Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) following the assault on media men covering the religious sect’s protest action a few days ago.
ABS-CBN cameraman Melchor Pinlac was “grabbed by the neck, punched on the jaw, body and back of the neck as the crowd around him chanted, ‘biased, biased’.”
Meanwhile, radio dzBB reporter Olan Bola was shoved around as he tried to stop the attack on Pinlac, the NUJP said in a statement.
The NUJP blamed INC leaders for the incident as it is their responsibility to rein in their followers during mass gatherings.
“That they failed to do so can be attested to by many other reports of motorists and passersby being harassed, in some instances physically,” NUJP Secretary General Rupert Francis Mangilit said.
Mangilit added that the assaulted journalists were merely performing their duty to cover the protest action.
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“We demand that the police act speedily and directly should Mr. Pinlac and any other colleagues who may have been harassed or hurt during the protest choose to file a complaint,” Mangilit said.
On the other hand, the Department of Justice will proceed with its preliminary investigation on criminal charges filed against eight leaders of the INC.