National Press Club asks CHR exec for public apology on ‘bathroom interview’ issue

August 23, 2010 11:20 am 

MANILA, Aug. 23 -– The National Press Club (NPC) on Monday asked an official of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to make a public apology on the controversial “bathroom interview” she wanted to grant a broadcast journalist.

The NPC said if the CHR commissioner Coco Quisumbing does not make a public apology, they might consider filing an impeachment complaint against her.

“For going wild over a failed ‘bathroom interview, Quisumbing committed acts that prevented reporters from gathering facts on developments about a police officer captured on video torturing an alleged snatcher by means of repeatedly flicking up the string attached to the testicles of the man lying naked on the floor and at the same time whipping a rod on his face,” NPC president Jerry Yap said in a statement.

Quisumbing, a former broadcast journalist herself, berated DZMM reporter Dennis Datu for not following her to the bathroom where she allegedly directed him to go to interview her. It was learned later that he did not know about her instruction.

“I was bullied,” Datu described how the commissioner got mad at him. Datu is a five-year veteran reporter covering the police and general assignments beat.

“That act of a high public official caused a chilling effect on Datu’s practice of press freedom, constituting it as an act of violating the human right to exercise the liberty to express, speak, and to publish,” Yap said.

The NPC president said Quisumbing violated the command enshrined in Section 4, Article 3 of the Constitution that says: “No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of expression, of speech, and of the press…” (PNA) LOR/JCA

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