NUJP slams Andanar: Shut up or quit
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has slammed Communications Secretary Martin Andanar for claiming that as much as $1,000 was given to Senate reporters to cover the press conference of confessed Davao Death Squad (DDS) leader retired SPO3 Arthur Lascañas at the Senate on Monday.
In a statement, NUJP said Andanar should shut his mouth or quit his post if he would continue to make baseless accusations.
“Unless he can present credible proof to back up his claims, he should zip his mouth or better yet, step down for gross abuse of his office and ignorance of his responsibilities. His baseless accusations are mere distractions from the immediate issue on hand,” the NUJP said.
The group also urged journalists present at the said press conference to take legal action against Andanar “for shamelessly besmirching their reputation, and in this age of ‘tokhang,’ even putting their safety at risk.”
“It is a disgrace that such statements could come from someone who used to work for the media and knows the integrity required by this profession… Mr. Andanar is proof positive that his loss (is) no loss for media at all,” the NUJP added.
Andanar was a former news anchor and commentator for TV5 before being appointed to the Palace.
In a statement, Andanar said he held Senate reporters in high esteem, noting that he did not allude to anyone in his interview.
“I believe the transcript will bear out the fact that while a monetary offer may have been made to attract coverage of the concerned press conference at the Senate, no member of our working press was alluded to as recipient,” he said.
Lascañas, a retired Davao City policeman, resurfaced in the Senate on Monday and retracted his previous testimony on the infamous DDS. He backed the earlier testimony of another confessed DDS member Edgar Matobato and implicated President Rodrigo Duterte in vigilante killings in the city, including the death of Davao journalist Jun Pala in 2003. RAM/rga