Palace media task force condemns assault vs radio journalist

A Malacañang task force has condemned the alleged physical attack against a journalist covering a transport strike in Quezon City on Monday, June 10.

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Radio reporter Val Gonzales is covering a protest of 'Manibela' when he is allegedly punched by members of the transport group in Quezon City on June 10, 2024. (Courtesy of DZRH)

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) strongly denounced the attack allegedly perpetrated by members of the transport group Manibela on radio reporter Val Gonzales.

“Mariin natin kinokondena ang karahasan na ito laban sa isang kagawad ng media, sa katauhan ni kasamang Val Gonzales, na gumaganap lamang sa kanyang tungkulin sa pag-uulat ng mga kaganapan sa ating bansa (We strongly condemn this violent act on one of the members of the media, Val Gonzales, who was only performing his duty on reporting events in the country),” Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez, PTFoMS executive director, said in a statement.

Gutierrez added that the physical abuse committed against Gonzales cannot earn any public support from the transport group or to the issues they are trying to promote.

According to the PTFoMS official, Gonzales was punched in the waist at least twice by a member of Manibela for no apparent reason, while making a field report along East Avenue, Quezon City.

He further said that he already coordinated with the Quezon City Police District to summon Manibela chairman Mario Valbuena for the violent acts of his members.

Gutierrez also disclosed that during an earlier transport strike staged by the same transport group , another radio reporter, Allan Gatus, was also verbally abused by the strikers "for being biased against their group."

“Kung inaakala ng grupo ni Mr. Valbuena na ang ganitong mga paratang at pandarahas sa hanay ng midya ay makatutulong sa kanilang ipinaglalaban, nagkakamali sila. Naniniwala tayong hindi susuportahan ng publiko ang mga hakbang na may kaasamang pandarahas at pananakot (If the group of Mr. Valbuena thinks that this kind of allegations and violence against the media will help them in their plight, they are mistaken. We believe that the public will not support such actions that involve violence and threat),” Gutierrez said.

He said that the task force is also ready to support Gonzales who manifested his desire to sue the transport group.