To the military: Stop branding media outfits as state enemies

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The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines takes exception to military officials mentioning the work of a journalist at an alternative news outfit in reference with the reported “capture” of her husband, a scientist and university professor who the Army claims had joined the New People’s Army.

In talking of physicist Kim Gargar, Captain Alberto Caber, public affairs office chief of the Eastern Mindanao Command, noted that the scientist’s wife is “a writer of the leftist Bulatlat.com online news website.”

Even if the military’s claims about Gargar are true, we do not see how his wife’s work with Bulatlat.com, which has been operating for several years, is relevant at all to any statement Caber has to make.

Unless, of course, it is to insinuate that Bulatlat.com’s perceived leanings somehow make Gargar’s wife – and the whole outfit – complicit in the insurgency.

In the same manner the ISAFP so famously branded as “enemies of the state” the NUJP and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism – and even the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines – in the infamous 2005 PowerPoint “Knowing the Enemy.”

Incidentally, we continue to receive reports that the PowerPoint is still shown in schools and other venues throughout the land.

Caber’s thinking has clearly not evolved beyond that of a brute who immediately brands anyone with a different perspective an enemy, the kind of thinking perpetuated during Martial Law that, alas, somehow continues to infect the minds of officers such as him.

We demand that Caber publicly apologize to Bulatlat.com, not only for slandering a legitimate news outfit but endangering its staff as well.

It is the likes of you, Capt. Caber, who are the real enemies of the state because your blinders and one-track minds are anathema to the democracy you claim to protect and defend.

For reference:
Rowena Paraan
Chairperson

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