‘Drugs law puts journalists in danger’

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BAGUIO CITY: The dangerous drugs law in the country is putting journalists in danger, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), said while calling for its repeal.

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Kimberly Kitasol, NUJP national auditor said, a provision in the law prompted them to come up with a resolution to limit media participation in illegal drug raids and expressed apprehensions to coverage for journalism purposes.

Section 21 of Republic Act 9165, or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, requires the presence of a media representative in the inventory and documentation of confiscated drugs and paraphernalia.

Kitasol, a correspondent of a national broadsheet, said the law also requires the presence of media representatives in the burning and destruction of confiscated drugs and paraphernalia.

The resolution, passed during the 9th congress in Baras, Rizal in January, cited that because of these provisions in the dangerous drug law, media representatives have been asked to testify in court against drug lords and pushers, Kitasol said.

The provision “puts journalists in greater risk as they become party to operations against illegal drugs and prosecution of criminal complaints,” the resolution read.

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