NPC denounces MPD officer for threatening veteran columnist
The National Press Club (NPC) has denounced the chief of personnel (D1) of the Manila Police District (MPD) for threatening a veteran police reporter and columnist for questioning the officer’s promotion.
Benny Antiporda, NPC president, identified the victim as Lily Reyes, who has been covering the police beat for two decades and currently writes a column for Remate, a national tabloid. On the other hand, Reyes’ harasser was identified as Supt. Santiago Pascual.
“Rather than help solve media killing, this official seems more eager to be placed on record as a ‘threat to press freedom,” Antiporda said.
Reyes criticized the suspicious promotion of the said officer in view of an existing policy of the Philippine National Police (PNP) that those with pending criminal or administrative case cannot be promoted until the case has been resolved in his favor.
“While the NPC is reaching out with the leadership of the PNP for more vigilance in stemming the tide of media killings and harassment especially those coming from the ranks of our law enforcement units, officers like Supt. Pascual appears serious in destroying the gains that both sides have achieved so far,” Antiporda added.
It was gathered that Pascual has sent a series of threatening messages to Reyes, such as:
“Kung gusto mo pang humaba ang buhay mo kaibiganin mo ako ha.”
Another message went this way: “Pu…isang beses pa isulat mo pangalan ko… may kalalagyan ka talaga.”
Although Reyes, a member of the NPC, has already filed appropriate charges against Pascual before the office of National Capital Region director, Chief Supt. Leonardo Espina, Antiporda said it would be best to the PNP’s own interest that the complaint be immediately looked into and Pascual sanctioned for his actions.
“Officials like Supt. Pascual has no place in the ongoing reform program that PNP director general Nicanor Bartolome has been implementing since the start of his leadership,” Antiporda pointed out further.