Davao journalists condemn jailing of colleague

Jun. 22, 2007

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUUJP) Davao Chapter condemns the jailing of Jofelle Tesorio for libel.

Ms Tesorio is former correspondent of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and editor of Bandillo ng Palawan, now with the Bangkok-based Asia News Network.

It is hard to believe that a colleague lady journalist like Tesorio who we knew to be well-acclaimed for her expository articles is now in detention at Camp Karingal in Quezon City where she was taken just today in spite of having posted bail.

Joefelle Tesorio is one hardworking journalist and one of the remaining few undaunted in the task of reporting on issues that, paramount, serves the interest of the public regardless that it might unnerve people in positions of power.

We believe that Ms Tesorio is a victim of repression and she does not deserve one single moment in jail.

We lament that a lot more corrupt politicians in the country remain unscathed while the brave watchdogs who are supposed to remain free to perform their duties in the service of democracy are one by one being hurled behind cold bars because of the onerous libel law in the country that is now being used as a tool at the disposal of the powerful whenever they are in danger of getting exposed in their abuses.

Only recently did we see a colleague in Davao City, Alex “Lex” Adonis, in jail for libel.

We shall not allow tyranny that is hiding behind the cloak of legality to rule in this country.

If they intend to sow fear among truth seekers, they will not succeed. We shall unite and fight.

Oppose an oppressive law that only makes conditions worse for journalists in this country!

De-criminalize libel in the Philippines!

Fight for the people’s right to know!

There can be no press freedom if journalists exist in conditions of corruption, poverty or fear.

Carmelito Q. Francisco
NUJP Davao Chapter

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