This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.
LEYTE, Philippines – Police Brigadier General Vincent Calanoga, PNP Regional Director for the Eastern Visayas, told Rappler on Saturday evening, July 15, he ordered the relief of Police Staff Sergeant Rhea May Baleos and her husband, Police Staff Sergeant Ver Baleos, both assigned to the Pastrana Municipal Police Station.
The two were directed to turn in their issued firearms, to give way to an investigation.
The relief of the two police and the subsequent investigation follow the harassment of journalists who were conducting interviews with farmers engaged in a land dispute in Barangay Jones, Pastrana, Leyte. Adding to the physical harassment of the journalists were gunshots fired and heard in recorded video of the incident.
Other members of Pastrana police who also responded to the altercation at Sitio Cancamartes, Barangay Jones, Pastrana, Leyte on July 14 will also be investigated.
Calanoga assured a fair investigation, adding he “will not tolerate any form of misconduct within our ranks.”
He emphasized the importance of maintaining integrity and professionalism within the police force. and also acknowledged the respect and recognition they give towards media’s valuable contributions in the dissemination of information and acknowledging the critical role played by the media.
Journalists receiving threats
Meanwhile, a San Juanico TV reporter received a threat following the altercation on July 14.
According to Noel Sianosa, while he was working in their office his wife called, telling him an unknown man went to their house past noon on July 15 to inquire about his whereabouts.
“Gusto nila kami takutin. And ma-distract kami from our work, to make it clear that they’re watching us,” Sianosa said. (They want to scare us, and distract us from our work, to make it clear that they’re watching us.)
“Nag aalala ako hindi na lang para sa akin, kundi para sa aking pamilya,” he said. (I’m worried not for myself, but for my family.)
Sianosa decided to speak out publicly to draw attention to the threats and to help ensure his safety also.
Fred Padernos, the manager of San Juanico TV, who was also concerned about the safety of his reporters, called the authorities to swiftly investigate the threats received by Sianosa.
He said it was “unacceptable to see journalists insulted or threatened,” adding that they would like to continue their work “without pressure of any kind.”
Tacloban PNP City Director, Police Colonel Michael Palermo immediately deployed tracking policemen near the houses of the 3 journalists to ensure their safety. – Rappler.com