Image from Benny Abante Facebook page. 

A lawmaker said that the surprise visits of policemen to the homes of some journalists can be considered a human rights violation.

Manila 6th District Rep. Bienvenido “Benny” Abante Jr., said the supposed safety checks on media practitioners in the wake of the death of Percy Lapid triggers an “aura of fear” among journalists.

“Sa akin, it’s not normal. That would be a human rights violation because you cause trauma and intimidation towards our media practitioners,” he said in an interview at ANC.

Abante, who chairs the House Committee on Human Rights, said these visits are best done by talking with the newsrooms or offices of the journalists. 

“I would like to believe it was well-intended. I would like to believe the police would like to give protection to media practitioners. But the way that they do it, it’s not proper, it’s not right,” he said.

“I think they should correct themselves on that. I think they ought to apologize to the Filipino people on that because it doesn’t cause any aura of protection at all. It intimidates, it causes fear. Kahit ako natatakot na pumunta sa kapulisan because of that,” he added.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos has apologized for the surprise visits promising that it will not happen again. 

 

Ronald Espartinez