By Joseph Pedrajas
A Philippine National Police (PNP) general who snatched a GMA TV reporter's cellphone while recording a tussle between cops and a devotee during Thursday’s "Traslacion" said he thought it was a devotee not helping a fellow devotee and not a mediaman.
Southern Police District (SPD) Chief Brigadier Gen. Nolasco Bathan (Middle) (SPD PIO / via Southern Police Department Headquarters Official Facebook Page / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
"Nagkataon na nakita ko, meron kinukuha na magulo na deboto. Here comes another guy, nagpipicture," Brig. Gen. Nolasco Bathan, director of the Southern Police District, said over GMA interview posted on Facebook Friday.
"Akala ko nire-rescue nya 'yung deboto na magulo, kinuha ko cellphone nya. ‘Yun lang," he added.
On his Facebook post, GMA reporter Jun Veneracion said that he was "taking footage on phone of a commotion between cops and a Black Nazarene devotee on Ayala Bridge in Manila" when "a police general suddenly darted out of nowhere and snatched" his cellphone.
"He quickly moved away from the scene," he added
Veneracion said that he was "accosted by another police officer" and prevented him from going after Bathan.
When Veneracion learned who got his phone, he said, he "came up to him to ask for phone."
Bathan then told him: “Pasensya ka na, Jun, hindi kita nakilala," Veneracion added.
The GMA reporter said that he asked the SPD director why the video he took was deleted, but Bathan replied: "Wala akong binura dyan, saksi ko pa ang Itim na Nazareno."
Bathan, also in the early Friday video posted by GMA, said: "Unang una, hindi ko alam na media sya.”.