By: Glazyl Y. Masculino
BACOLOD City – A journalist here expressed concern after she was allegedly followed by an unidentified man on a motorcycle in La Castellana, Negros Occidental last Aug 3, 2019.
Marchel Espina, Rappler correspondent and chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)-Bacolod chapter, said she was returning from Canlaon City, Negros Oriental after her coverage on the spate of killings in the province two weeks ago when the driver of her rented vehicle noticed the suspicious motorcycle rider allegedly tailing them.
Espina said they were traversing the road in La Castellana town when the suspicious man allegedly tailed them for almost 18 kilometers from Biak na Bato to Taburda areas.
Fortunately, the driver was alert and prevented the attempts of the motorcycle rider to overtake us, she added.
Espina said her driver described the man as medium-built, and was wearing a bonnet, a black jacket and pants, and has a backpack.
The incident already reached Police Colonel Romeo Baleros, provincial director of Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (Nocppo).
Espina is scheduled to meet Baleros in the coming days to discuss the incident.
Meanwhile, the NUJP- Bacolod chapter, in a statement, said the group is alarmed about the incident.
“We remind all parties to the continuing armed conflict that journalists are civilians and should not, for whatever reason, be made targets for harassment, threats, or attacks,” the group said.
To do so would violate international humanitarian laws to which the Philippines is a signatory, it added.
“We likewise urge state security forces to remain true to their mandate to serve and protect the citizenry, including members of media, and ensure to the best of their ability that we can fulfil our tasks freely and without fear,” the group added.