“Her abduction, on Human Rights Day no less, is another proof of the dangers of the administration’s vile practice of red-tagging.”
By ALYSSA MAE CLARIN
MANILA— On Human Rights Day, a journalist of an alternative news media outfit was one of those arrested during a series of simultaneous raids conducted by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Criminal Investigation and Detention Group (CIDG).
At around 9 a.m., the staff of Manila Today received a call informing them of the ‘raid’ conducted by the PNP and CIDG at the house of their editor Lady Ann Salem in Mandaluyong City. Salem is also the communications officer of the International Association for Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT).
In a statement, AlterMidya Network pointed out that Manila Today is among their members which were red-tagged by the National Task Force to End the Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) officials at the Senate hearing last December 1.
“Her abduction, on Human Rights Day no less, is another proof of the dangers of the administration’s vile practice of red-tagging,” the group said.
“The abduction is a clear attempt to silence critical journalists like Lady Ann,” it added.
As of press time, Salem is in the custody of the PNP and being transferred to Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig City.
For the National Union of the Philippines (NUJP), Salem’s arrest “is proof that this administration is bent on silencing the independent and critical Philippine media so it can manipulate the flow of information to the detriment of our people and our democracy.”
Meanwhile, IAWRT Philippines called for the immediate release of Salem.
“Icy is a good friend and hardworking colleague who has demonstrated strong commitment to her work as a journalist and as communications officer of IAWRT International,” the group said.
In a social media post, the University of the Philippines Integrated School also condemned the arrest of its alumna Salem, adding that the arrest is “an outright attack on free expression.”