Magpale's order to shut down media outlets cause for 'concern'
MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) - Media group National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said it is "concerned" with the orders of Cebu acting Governor Agnes Magpale to close the official news outlets of the Cebu provincial government -- Sugbo TV and Sugbo News.
"We are concerned that the news outlets will be among the casualties in the ongoing political impasse at the provincial capitol. The closure of the news outlets has also put in question the fate of its staff," said NUJP chairperson Nestor Burgos in a statement released Sunday night, December 23.
"We call on our colleagues in Cebu and elsewhere to ensure that the rights of our colleagues in Sugbo TV and Sugbo News be respected and to demand that the news outlets of the capitol cater to the interests of Cebuanos and not to any official," the statement added.
NUJP earlier issued a statement asking Malacañang to sanction Magpale, a member of the administration's Liberal Party (LP), for what it said was an "assault on basic rights." The group later recalled it.
Cebu Gov Gwendolyn Garcia was suspended Wednesday, December 19, for 6 months for grave abuse of authority. Vice Governor Agnes Magpale was immediately sworn into office as acting governor by Ananias Villacorta, director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government's regional office in Cebu.
Refusing to step down, Garcia is now camping inside the provincial Capitol. She has asked the Court of Appeals to issue a temporary restraining order on her suspension.
Upon the orders of Magpale, employees of Sugbo TV (the Cebu Province cable TV Channel) and Sugbo News (official gazette) were barred from entering their office Thursday afternoon.
The office was padlocked and guarded by several police personnel. The employees were reportedly advised to return on Wednesday, December 26.
The Garcia family patriarch, Cebu Rep Pabling Garcia, earlier expressed his disappointment over the closure of Sugbo TV and the cutting off of the Internet connection in his daughter’s office. - Rappler.com