Ex-NPC president arrested at Naia for libel
Former National Press Club President Jerry Yap was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia) Sunday afternoon for libel.
Yap, who is a columnist and publisher of tabloid Hataw was arrested by members of the Manila Police District warrant and subpoena section at 1 p.m. at Naia terminal 3, after arriving from a week-long vacation in Japan.
The arrest was based on a warrant issued on March 30 by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 39 Judge Noli Diaz, in connection with libel case filed against Yap by MPD- District Police Intelligence Operation Unit (DPIOU) chief Senior Inspector Rizalino Ibay.
The case stemmed from Yap’s column “Bulabugin” that appeared on Hataw and another tabloid, Police Files, on Oct. 3, 2014 with the title “Salot na tulak sa distrito uno ng Maynila (attn: PDEA).
Ibay also named Hataw managing editor Gloria Galuno and circulation manager Edwin Alcala as Yap’s co-accused.
Yap deplored the arrest made by the MPD, claiming that it was meant to harass and silence him.
He also hit MPD for serving the arrest warrant on a weekend, a clear violation of the existing agreement between the PNP and media groups that no arrest can be made against journalists during weekends, especially if the case is libel.
Rowena Paraan, chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines confirmed that there is such an agreement signed by PNP with NUJP, NPC, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas and the Philippine Press Institute.
In a text message, Paraan said: “It has been the agreement between media groups and the PNP that the latter will not arrest journalists on late Friday afternoon or on weekends, depriving them the opportunity to post bail.
“This came about because of attempts to use the legal system to harass journos and throw them behind bars.”
Yap is currently detained at MPD headquarters while Galuno is now holed up at the MPD Press Office on UN Avenue for fear of being arrested. IDL
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