Negros Press Club president Renato Duran (left) meets with NBI-Bacolod agent-in-charge Renoir Baldivino on Wednesday (Feb. 13, 2019) to ask for an investigation on the inclusion of local media practitioners in the alleged drug lists from unknown sources circulating on social media. (Photo courtesy of Dolly Yasa)
BACOLOD CITY -- The Negros Press Club (NPC) has asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to trace the source of the alleged drug lists circulating on social media that included the names of at least 15 media practitioners here.
NPC president Renato Duran and other club officers met with NBI-Bacolod agent-in-charge Renoir Baldivino at the latter’s office on Wednesday after a third list was emailed to a local newspaper on Monday, following the previous two that were posted on Facebook.
Duran said Baldivino referred their concern to the Cybercrime Division of the NBI central office.
He added that NPC officers will soon schedule a visit to the NBI in Manila.
The NPC and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)-Bacolod issued a unity statement denouncing the release of the lists from unknown sources.
The names of the journalists were lumped with other local personalities in Negros Occidental and Bacolod City, including elected government officials.
“We, the members of the media community of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental denounce the malicious spreading through social media of anonymous lists of purported drug personalities, including at least 15 of our colleagues,” the NPC and the NUJP-Bacolod statement said.
Those included on the alleged lists are active media practitioners in Bacolod.
“The inconsistencies and seeming lack of logic in the composition of these lists indicate that these were drawn up by conflicting parties out to destroy each other while, at the same time, attempting to muddle their tracks by including random names, including our colleagues,” the statement added.
“This is unacceptable to us, not only as journalists but as citizens of this country who share and deserve to enjoy the rights guaranteed by our Constitution and the laws of the land. No one, and we mean no one, should be subjected to trial by publicity and, worse, punished without being accorded due process,” the groups’ statement added.
The two media organizations also said they demand that authorities “investigate and get the cowards and criminals responsible for creating and spreading these lists and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.”
“What they have done is a crime,” they said.
“We call on all members of the media community of Bacolod City and Negros Occidental to close ranks and defend our integrity even as we urge everyone to uphold the highest ethical and professional standards as we go about our work,” the statement added. (PNA)