Campus journalists in Samar slam ‘military surveillance’

THE College Editors Guild of the Philippines Samar Island Chapter slammed the surveillance of alleged military intelligence during the activity of campus journalsts to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of Maguindanao Massacre this afternoon at the University of Eastern Philippines, Catarman, Northern Samar.

As campus journalists gave speeches during the activity, a man kept on taking pictures on the students in attendance. According to Micah Susana Rubenecia, chair of CEGP Samar, suspected military intelligence had also been standing by outside The Pillar Office where the preparations for the activity was held.

Susana expressed concern on the continued surveillance on campus journalists, particularly on the members of the editorial board and staff of The Pillar, official student publication of UEP. According to her, it is not the first time when suspected military elements took pictures and videos during CEGP-led activities.

“Patunay lamang ito na walang pinipili ang gobyerno, mapa-estudyante ka man o mapa-campus journalist, they are treating you as ‘enemy of the state’ even if you are only forwarding progressive intentions,” Susana said. She also cited the harassment on them last February in Catarman with CEGP National President Pauline Gidget Estella.

“This incident is very timely as we commemorate the gruesome Maguindanao Massacre. This reminds us, time and again, that the Aquino Administration is insincere in resolving the massacre and ending all forms of human rights violations,” said Angelo Karl Doceo, national vice president for Visayas of CEGP.

“It is impossible indeed to engage the Aquino Administration on the issue of culture of impunity and human rights violations as it continues to perpetuate fear and violence to its people,” Doceo added. Doceo cited the unabated accounts of human rights violation and increasing statistics of murdered journalists under the Aquino Administration.

“Aquino is only posturing his administration as one that respects and defends the rights and welfare of its people with the blood-stained ‘tuwid na daan” he has been lashing out to the pubic. Walang pinagkaiba si Aquino kay Arroyo pagdating sa pagpapahalaga sa karapatang pantao,” Doceo added.

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