The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has denounced Sagip Rep. Rodante Marcoleta for turning a House hearing on ABS-CBN’s franchise into a platform for “personal revenge” to “bully” reporter Mike Navallo.
In a statement, the NUJP criticized Marcoleta for using Monday’s hearing to mount personal attacks against Navallo, who reported that the lawmaker previously proposed a measure allowing dual citizens to run for public office as well as bills granting franchises to other television networks.
“If, as Marcoleta claims, Navallo’s report was wrong, the proper thing to do would be to call the attention of the station and file his complaint, not turn the halls of Congress into a bully pulpit to slake his personal vendetta,” the NUJP said.
“At the same time, we denounce the leadership of the House committees for allowing Marcoleta to use a legislative hearing to mount personal attacks against a journalist who had absolutely nothing to do with the matter at hand,” the group added.
The issue stemmed from Navallo’s exclusive report which bared that Marcoleta, who has been pounding on ABS-CBN’s alleged violations in the House hearings as well as the dual citizenship of the network’s chairman emeritus Gabby Lopez, authored bills granting franchises to other networks such as GMA as shown in legislative records.
Navallo explained that the documents of the bills he cited in his 3 June report were from the official website of the House of Representatives and are therefore assumed to be truthful since these are part of “public record.”
The NUJP also said Marcoleta should apologize to Navallo since he was “absolutely wrong” about his accusations, adding that the journalist’s report was based on documentary evidence.
For his part, Marcoleta said his name was listed among the bill’s authors since it is the practice in the House of Representatives to include a lawmaker’s name as co-author even without his or her knowledge.