A field reporter of Radyo ni Juan based in Tagum City, Davao del Norte was arbitrarily arrested and detained, and harassed by police in Carmen town as he covered a protest by banana workers on Tuesday morning, January 21, 2020.

Interviewed by phone, Glenn Jester Hitgano said three policemen, who he could not identify, cut short his interview with the leader of the striking workers then took him to their station, some 10 meters away from the picket line, where one of the officers tried to handcuff him as the other claimed the reporter had “insulted” them by interviewing the protesters.

“They subjected me to psywar and harassed me, saying I was not allowed to carry out interviews,” Hitgano said.

The policemen also attempted to confiscate his phone and ordered him to erase his interview, but the reporter asserted his rights as a journalist and member of the local media.

After being held an hour, Hitgano said he managed to convince the police to release him by promising not to report on the protest.

The night before Hitgano’s arrest, the striking banana workers said they had been harassed by men in uniform.

Kath Cortez
Safety Officer, Eastern Mindanao
09398475242 / 09453503459