MANILA, Philippines – The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) has denounced the red-tagging of their former chairperson Rowena “Weng” Carranza-Paraan.
In a statement posted on its official social media accounts on Friday, May 15, the NUJP described a May 13 social media post by a certain Aram dela Cruz. The post featured an image of Paraan and other women in a forested area surrounding what appeared to be an injured man.
The post was captioned: “Ano ang tunay na ugnayan ni Rowena Paraan (NUJP, Head ng Bayan Mo Ipatrol Mo, ng ABS-CBN) at ng CPP-NPA-NDF [Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front]. Alam ba ito ng ABS-CBN?”
(What is the real connection between Rowena Paraan (NUJP, Head of Bayan Mo Ipatrol Mo of ABS-CBN) and the CPP-NPA-NDF. Does ABS-CBN know this?)”
The image, said NUJP, was taken at an all-women media safety training held in Cagayan de Oro City from March 16 to 17, 2013. Paraan, who was the lead trainer at the event, conducted simulation exercises on administering first aid to injured persons.
It has been identified by Mindanews as a photo for an article that they published in March 17, 2013 titled “Women journalists, media workers gather for 1st all-women safety training.” It was taken by photojournalist Vic Kintanar.
For more than 10 years, NUJP has held regular media safety training sessions, which include safety and security tips during and outside of coverage and simulation exercises. The facilitators of these exercises are journalists, security experts, police, and military officials.
“It is utterly shameless but dangerous that a historic media safety training aimed at protecting and ensuring the safety of media workers is being used to malign, threaten, and put journalists and the NUJP in danger,” NUJP said in their statement.
Paraan also spoke about the misleading post on her Facebook account, giving the same explanation and saying that it also put at risk the other journalists at the 2013 training session.
According to the May 3 “State of Media Freedom in PH” report from the Freedom for Media, Freedom for All (FMFA) Network, red-tagging is among the tactics being used to stifle the press amid the COVID-19 pandemic. – Rappler.com
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