March 19, 2019
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns the harassment being perpetrated by Gumaca Quezon Mayor Erwin Caralian and his brother, Vice Mayor El Chor Caralian against Radyo Natin Gumaca.
Radyo Natin Operations Manager Mitch Hernando complains that despite having complied with all the necessary papers, the station is being denied renewal of the Mayor’s permit until now. She added the duo have also made it hard for the station to secure a business permit for several years in the past.
But this year, Hernando said the Mayor even went to the extent of trying to conspire with the National Telecommunications Commission in harassing the radio station.
Hernando said the station’s mother network, MBC, had told her Tuesday, March 12, that Mayor Caralian was at the NTC, alleging that Radyo Natin is operating illegally, and wanted the station closed down.
Two days after, on Thursday, representatives from the NTC, Business Permit and Licensing Office and the Treasury Department indeed came to the station to “inspect.” After the inspection, however, Hernando claims she received assurance from the NTC representative that the station will not be shut down.
This is plain harassment meant to intimidate the station and force it to just toe the line.
Media groups have recorded at least 99 cases of attacks and threats against the press during the first 22 months of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.
The NUJP urges members of the media to resist these attacks on press freedom.
This we will say again and again, the independent Philippine press, the Filipino journalists and the freedom-loving Filipinos will make sure that such attacks will not succeed in silencing us.