Five journalists covering a fact finding mission by an organization of Typhoon Pablo survivors in Baganga, Davao Oriental reported to colleagues that the group led by Barog Katawhan has been stranded after alleged harrassment by military elements.
Macky Macaspac of the alternative media outfit Pinoy Weekly and Marilou Tuburan of Davao Today reported last night (Apr. 20) that they are among the 69 participants of the fact finding mission still unable to leave Sitio Cabuyao, Barangay Binondo, Baganga, Davao Oriental.
With Macaspac and Tuburan are two journalists from Kilab Multimedia and a columnist of SunStar.
According to a report from Pinoy Weekly (http://pinoyweekly.org/new/2013/04/fact-finding-mission-joined-by-pw-journalist-harassed-by-military/), although there was no direct harm inflicted against the participants, the military reportedly threatened the drivers of vehicles rented for the FFM, causing them to flee from the area and leaving the participants stranded through the night.
NUJP Mindanao Media Safety Office was initially told military elements encamped about an hour’s walk from the village where the FFM is being conducted are allegedly blocking the road leading to Baganga.
Ronalyn Olea of the online Bulatlat said they received a text message from one of the organizers of the mission, saying military agents were barring the group from leaving the area.
Olea said they received the text message at about 6:30 pm today, April 20, and has received no further update from the group. Olea said they were also unable to reach certain members of the group through their mobile phones.
The FFM organized by Barog Katawhan left Davao City Thursday and is set to finish by tomorrow, Sunday, or Monday at the latest, Olea said.
JB R. DEVEZA
NUJP Mindanao Media Safety Office
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