NUJP hits Pamintuan
CLARK FREEPORT — The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Pampanga Chapter has assailed Councilor Edgardo “Edu” Pamintuan, Jr. for his earlier statements perceived by newsmen as plain censorship that curtails press freedom.
NUJP-Pampanga Chairman Ashley Manabat said that on September 13, 2016, Pamintuan lambasted his fellow Councilor Carmelo Lazatin, Jr. in a press release emanating from the City Information Office.
According to Manabat, this could just be part of regular legislative work where the pros and cons of issues are hotly debated not only in the legislative chamber but also in public as part of the democratic process.
The NUJP head however said that Pamintuan’s statement to wit: “The councilor son and namesake of Angeles City Mayor and League of Cities of the Philippines National President Edgardo Pamintuan also cautioned the media against publishing press releases from Lazatin Jr.’s camp,” should not be taken lightly as this could very well be a threat to the freedom of the press.
“Will this mean that if the media will continue to publish what they perceived is newsworthy from the camp of Councilor Lazatin Jr., the camp of the mayor who is now the national president of the League of Cities of the Philippines and least of all Councilor Edu, will come down hard on the media with every form of adversity?” Manabat stated.
NUJP-Pampanga will stand by its sworn duty to uphold press freedom even as a perceived threat from the camp of Councilor Pamintuan has been made, he added.
“Censorship by government officials is most definitely unwelcome,” the NUJP-Pampanga said.
The NUJP-Pampanga also pointed to Pamintuan, Jr.’s statement which said: “They can write all the press releases they want but I am requesting our media friends to be discernful. Filing a questionable measure is one thing and getting it published in newspapers is another. Pero huwag naman yung nagmumukha tayong katawa-tawa at walang alam sa batas at mga pambansang regulasyon. Sabi nga doon sa spot.ph site, ‘there are laws that have us cheering on the lawmaker who filed it and there are laws that make us laugh out loud or cringe in shame,'” Pamintuan Jr said.
With this statement, Manabat said that newsmen believe that it is the councilor who lacks knowledge of the law. “Telling the media what to do is plain censorship that curtails press freedom which was the habit of dictators long banished by the people and swept in the dustbin of history.”