Policemen in the town of Pola, Oriental Mindoro, harassed and threatened Noel Alamar, dzMM Radyo Patrol reporter and president of the Philippine National Police (PNP) Press Corps, Thursday night.
Alamar, a native of Pola, said he and his wife, Roselle Aquino, Southern Tagalog correspondent of the Manila Times, went home to attend the first death anniversary of his mother. When they arrived, he said several town mates told him about Chief Inspector Telesforo Domingo’s alleged partisanship.
He said he immediately called up Chief Superintendent Paul Mascarinas, Mimaropa regional police director; and Senior Superintendent Sonny Ricablanca, Oriental Mindoro police chief, who said they would ask Domingo to give his side of the allegations.
Alamar said when Domingo showed up at his house, it was obvious the police chief had been drinking. Domingo merely asked, “Sino ka ba (Who are you)?” then left.
Later, when Alamar went to the house of mayor-elect Dodjie Panganiban, he saw Domingo and other policemen, none of who were in uniform although they were armed with high-powered firearms.
When Alamar tried to take video footage of this apparent violation of regulations, he said Domingo threatened to shoot him and seized his camera. The police chief also threatened to arrest Alamar and charge him with obstruction of justice.
Alamar, in phone conversations with NUJP, said the tension subsided only after two teams from the Provincial Mobile Group arrived and after incumbent Pola Mayor Alex Aranas intervened.
As of this writing, Alamar said he planned to go to the Pola police station to talk to Domingo and recover his camera. He added that he was also likely to file charges against the police chief.
Alamar is also a member of the NUJP.
NUJP-IFJ Media Safety Office
Rowena Paraan, Executive Coordinator
JB Deveza, Coordinator for Mindanao