• Sat. May 18th, 2024

    Cavite News

    Upholding Truth

    Freelance Photojournalist’s Equipment Seized in Silang, Cavite

    vintage camera in black and whitePhoto by Brayden Gale on <a href="https://www.pexels.com/photo/vintage-camera-in-black-and-white-21705303/" rel="nofollow">Pexels.com</a>

    In a recent incident, Jose Monsieur Santos, a 23-year-old freelance photojournalist and member of the Filipino Freelance Journalists’ Guild, had his equipment illegally confiscated by the Jarton Security Agency while covering a demolition operation in Barangay Tartaria, Silang, Cavite. Despite identifying himself as a press member, his pleas for the return of his belongings were ignored.

    The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) commended the swift police response to the incident. Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez, PTFoMS Executive Director, coordinated with Calabarzon Police Regional Office (PRO-4A) Director, Brig. Gen. Paul Kenneth Lucas, and Cavite Police Director Col. Eleuterio Ricardo Jr. to recover the seized items.

    Silang Police chief Lt. Col. Louie DC Gonzaga, in coordination with Mayor Alston Kevin Anarna, took the initiative to recover the items. However, due to the incomplete recovery, Santos, upon his lawyer’s advice, refused to claim them. Criminal charges against Jarton Security Agency for theft are being prepared.

    Despite the ordeal, Santos expressed gratitude to the PTFoMS for its prompt action. Gutierrez also commended the Calabarzon police office and Anarna for their efforts in assisting Santos and easing the tension in Barangay Tartaria, where 137 farmers are reportedly being evicted by a security agency hired by private firms, despite a pending Supreme Court decision on land ownership.

    Gutierrez lauded Gonzaga for ensuring the return of Santos’ stolen items and his assurance of full police assistance and security should Santos decide to pursue charges against Jarton Security Agency. He emphasized the importance of inter-agency cooperation in protecting media rights and assured colleagues in the media of the government’s commitment to their protection.