A screengrab of Cebu-based journalist Benjie Talisic ‘apology’ video. Talisic was caught on CCTV slapping a woman during a news coverage in Pasil, Cebu City.

A Cebu-based journalist is in hot water after being caught slapping a bystander during an anti-drug operation in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City on Saturday, March 13.

Benjie Talisic, correspondent for Visayan-language tabloid, trended over the weekend when a CCTV clip posted by a certain Abegail Torres on social media caught him slapping a woman.

Torres alleged that Talisic was with agents of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency and local police who were conducting a drug operation when the video was taken. Talisic has been known in Cebu for doing live reporting on social media.

Torres’s video caught Talisic, wearing a camouflage vest, slapping an unidentified woman and reprimanding her as he passed by. The woman and her companions rushed inside a house after the encounter.

Aside from the woman on the CCTV clip, Talisic also slapped three other women, including two elderly and a minor, but these incidents were not caught on video, Torres claimed.

“The other three (women), who were not seen in the video, were at their doorsteps when they were slapped,” Torres said in her post.

Talisic on Sunday admitted to the “slapping” incident, when it had already gone viral.

He said the incident had nothing to do with his news outlet and the law enforcers who were only doing their work.

Talisic denied that what he did was a “slap,” but he did not offer an explanation. “Take note, it wasn’t a slap,” he said in a live video on March 14. “I am just human. I got carried away with my emotions.”

Talisic said he wanted to help authorities enforce compliance with health protocols like wearing facemasks.

“I apologize for what I did,” he said, while tears rolled down his cheeks. “I will guard my temper.”

Talisic’s news outfit has not released a statement on the incident but shared the reporter’s statement on its official Facebook page. Ryan Sorote