A TV reporter was allegedly questioned and told he could be an “enemy” by the police after doing a live report. 

Mark Makalalad of GMA’s Super Radyo dzBB on Thursday wrote in a now-viral Facebook post that a group of four cops approached him after he finished filming his live traffic report in Marikina City and asked for his identification card.

“They asked me, ‘Sir, media ka ba? Patingin ng ID mo?” said Makalalad.

According to Makalalad, he explained to the police he was doing a live report so he had to leave his ID in the media vehicle which was parked near the checkpoint.

He said he was then told by the cops, “Dapat po nagpaalam kayo sa amin na mag-la-live po kayo.”

Makalalad said it was his first time hearing such and that he had never experienced having to ask permission from authorities whenever he goes live in different places on a daily basis. 

“Araw-araw po ako nag-l-live report sa iba’t ibang lugar, ngayon lang ako nakirinig na kailangan magpaalam sa pulis kapag magl-live,” he said.

“Bago po ba yang utos kasi lilinawin ko yan sa JTF-Covid Shield,” asked Makalalad.

“Hindi naman po sir, pero kailangan nyo po ng coordination kasi vinideohan nyo po kami,” he recalled the cops telling him. 

Makalalad said he then brought out his cellphone to prove he didn’t film them.

“Isa pa, ang selfie live ko ang background ay traffic, hindi sila. I felt bad kasi napagbintangan ako,” expressed Makalalad. 

“Ito ang argument ko: Kunwari ordinary citizen lang ako at naglalalakad at nagvivideo, kunwari, vlogger, kailangan ko rin bang magpaalam sa kanila?” he added.

One of the cops allegedly replied, “Baka kasi sir kalaban ka.”

“Doon nagpantig ang tenga ko,” said Makalalad.

He also asked Joint Task Force COVID SHIELD chief Police Lieutenant General Guillermo Eleazar if there was a directive requiring media to seek permission before doing a live report. “Walang ganyang instruction, Mark,” was the reply.

“Our conversation ended peacefully naman, I tried to understand them na lang since I respect our authorities,” Makalalad further said.

“IN CONTEXT: Quarantine pass is no longer required in GCQ areas. Permission to seek clearance from police to do live report is NEVER an option,” he ended.

Today’s experience:I was doing a live traffic report in Marcos Highway (Marikina area) earlier, when a group of 4…

Posted by Mark Gene Makalalad on Thursday, June 25, 2020

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) called on the Philippine National Police (PNP) to investigate the “dangerous actuations” of its personnel.

In a statement to GMA News, Marikina Police chief Police Colonel Restituto Arcangel said that two cops and two marine officers confronted Makalalad because he was not wearing a uniform and identification card that indicated he was a member of the press.

“I don’t think our troops did something inappropriate considering the circumstances. Hindi nila nakilala si Mark Makalalad dahil hindi siya naka-uniform, walang ID,” Arcangel was quoted as saying.

He also reportedly appealed for understanding as the incident had already been resolved between parties involved.

PNP spokesman Brigadier General Bernard Banac, on the other hand, told GMA News that authorities would be seeking “clarification” on the Marikina cops’ actions, adding that “PNP treats the media as an ally and partner in maintenance of peace and order and will always uphold the freedom of the press.”