CEGP condemns harassment of campus journalists in USEP

Oct. 06, 2007

Press Release

October 4, 2007

CEGP condemns harassment of campus journalists in USEP

DAVAO CITYThe College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) Davao City Chapter condemned today the actions of a professor of the University of Southeastern Philippines (USEP) Obrero Campus harassing editors and members of the Collegiate Headlight, the school’s official student publication.

The group said Dr. Dionisio Damole, Student’s Coordinator of the College of Education called Donald Jake Lopez and Oscar Lazaro III, editor-in-chief and associate editor of the said student publication respectively “Ingrato” while pointing his finger to them.

Mr. Lazaro said that it happened during the said publication’s regular staff meeting last September 27, 2007 after said professor barged into their office.

Accounts from the staff of said publication showed that while the staff meeting was ongoing, they were interrupted by hasty knocks on the door. The professor then entered and uttered words of defamation and insult to the abovementioned editors.

Mr. Lazaro said the professor was reacting to an article he wrote that questioned the increase on the fees of the college publication headed by the said professor.

Lazaro added that the professor said to them that they do not have the right to write since do not excel in their academic obligations, and compared them to the professor’s publication staff, who according to the professor are more intellectual than them.

“He also asked me regarding my family background and affronted Mr. Lopez by saying, ‘Naga-sulat mo anang mga kabayutan,’ simply degrading Mr. Lopez’s sexuality.” Said Lazaro.

“This is a clear manifestation of harassment against members of the Collegiate Headlight. The CEGP, a nationwide alliance of tertiary student publications, can not tolerate this therefore condemns it.” Said Leigh Dalugdog, CEGP coordinator for Davao City.

Dalugdog said what Professor Damole did was a form of campus press freedom violation.

“CEGP insists and strongly believes that an action should be done to this serious issue. Prof. Damole did not only show disrespect to the students’ right to information but deterred them from being informed of the truth. He didn’t just spit out defamation on the faces of the campus writers of the said publication but to the whole entity of campus writers who struggle against campus press freedom.” Dalugdog said.

The CEGP is consulting it’s alumni association and it’s lawyers on this matter and is contemplating on taking actions to reprimand the said professor.###

For reference:

NISA OPALLA, Secretary General (CEGP Davao City), 0919-586-7619

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