NUJP posts scathing open letter to Andanar
What can the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) say about Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and his claim that media “misreported” President Rodrigo Duterte’s comments on martial law?
A mouthful, apparently.
The media group posted on Monday an open letter for the former news anchor, expressing its disappointment.
“As a former news reader who no doubt valued truth in reportage and clarity in communication, we are sure it pains you to have to spin your principal’s words every time he utters something inappropriate,” NUJP said in its website.
“However, we are saddened that you have chosen to eschew the hard work of – as your fellow communicator Sec. Ernesto Abella put it – creative imagination for the easier but utterly dishonest tack of blaming the media for accurately reporting your principal’s remarks that he may declare martial law even outside the clear justifications and limits set by the Constitution,” it added.
The group pointed out that that Duterte’s speech was accurately recorded on video by government channel RTVM.
Duterte on Saturday said he can declare martial law if the situation in the country becomes “virulent.”
“If I have to declare martial law, I will declare it, not because of invasion, insurrection, I will declare martial law to preserve my nation, period,” the President said as he discussed the problem of illegal drugs in the country.
However, some lawmakers and critics pointed out that Duterte cannot use the illegal drug problem as a basis for martial law since the 1987 Constitution only allows martial law if there is an invasion or rebellion.
Andanar reacted to such news reports by saying that Duterte has in the past “categorically said no to martial law.”
Addressing Andanar, NUJP wrote, “We are sorry that you are pained by headlines that supposedly sow panic and confusion to many.”
“If anything, it is his words that ‘sow panic’ and your sorry attempts at creative imagination that add to the ‘confusion,’” the group said.
“You cannot falsely accuse the profession of misreporting by peddling brazenly outrageous lies. That is so beneath you,” NUJP said. “We do wish you well and hold on to the hope that you will find your way back to the truth that doubtless was the cornerstone of your previous job.”
The open letter was signed by the national directorate of the NUJP. JE