March 30, 2018
A journalist covering the return of Marawi folk to ground zero was barred from entering the war-torn city on Friday.
An unidentified officer of the 103rd Brigade of the Philippine Army (PA) barred Davao Today and Kilab Multimedia reporter Kath M. Cortez from covering the rally that marked the return of Marawi City residents to their homes.
While taking photos of the protesters at the PA-Philippine National Police blockade at the city’s Rapitan Bridge, the officer saw Cortez’s media ID and reportedly shouted: “’Uy, taga-Davao. Kumpiskahin ang ID! Kumpiskahin ang camera! Palabasin ‘yan ng Marawi!”
(Hey, she’s from Davao! Confiscate her ID! Confiscate her camera! Get her out of Marawi!)
Before soldiers could carry out the order, Cortez had safely retreated at the back of rally where she was joined by fellow journalists from Davao City.
While covering the rally’s program, which was about to end, a military again approached and told her to get out of the city.
Cortez and her fellow journalists from Davao have safely gotten out of the city as of posting time.
–NUJP Media Safety Office