By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – Journalists and lawyers group called out Solicitor General Jose Calida for harassing ABS-CBN reporter and lawyer Mike Navallo, who was covering the filing of the quo warranto plea against his mother station.
While refusing interview requests from reporters, Calida singled out Navallo for “always criticizing” him, and challenged him to practice law.
Navallo, for his part, responded that he is merely doing his job.
In a statement, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said the solicitor general “clearly overstepped the bounds of his office and of propriety when he turned personal” and resorted to harassing Navallo.
“Calida’s boorishness is the classic example of a government factotum who mistakes his position of authority as a license to throw his weight around. It is behavior that, of course, echoes his principal,” the journalist group said.
Meanwhile, the National Union of Peoples’ Lawyers said Calida’s condescending challenge to Navallo, “without doubt condoned if not encouraged and goaded by President Duterte’s persistent threats against the media outfit – reveal an attempt at censorship and prior restraint, masked as a perfectly legal action to “put an end… to highly abusive practices.”
“His feudal treatment of a fellow lawyer based on his self-professed superiority does not speak well neither of the office he represents nor of the profession,” the lawyers group said.
Calida filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN today, Feb. 10, as yet another attempt to shutdown one of the countries biggest media outfit. This has been described as reminiscent of the Marcos era, where ABS-CBN, too, was shut down.