A media group slammed Solicitor General Jose Calida for harassing ABS-CBN reporter and fellow lawyer Mike Navallo Monday morning.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said Calida clearly overstepped the bounds of his office when he turned personal against Navallo who was covering the official’s filing of a quo warranto petition asking the Supreme Court to nullify the franchise of ABS-CBN and its subsidiary, ABS-CBN Convergence.
While refusing requests by reporters for an interview, Calida singled out Navallo for confrontation.
“Lagi mo akong binabanatan ha. Lawyer ka rin pala,” Calida reportedly told Navallo. (You always criticize me, huh. I heard you are a lawyer like me.)
Navallo replied, “I am just doing my job, sir.”
Calida, however, added: “Mag-practice ka na lang. Magkita tayo sa court.” (Why don’t you just practice law? See you in court.”
The NUJP said Calida was being boorish, “a classic example of a government factotum who mistakes his position of authority as a license to throw his weight around.”
The media group said the top government lawyer’s behavior mirrors his principal, President Rodrigo Durerte.
Calida’s quo warranto petition before the High Court came after Duterte repeatedly and publicly threatened to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal the NUJP and other media organizations said are direct attacks on press freedom and freedom of expression. # (Raymund B. villanueva)