A councilor of Las Piñas City (Metro Manila) is in hot water after he allegedly threatened to shoot a news photographer.
Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, executive director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), told this reporter on Wednesday that he had directed his chief of staff, lawyer Bong Arollado, to send separate letters to Las Piñas City Mayor Imelda Aguilar and the City Council informing them about the alleged threat of District 2 Councilor Danilo Hernandez to “shoot” Jason Drew, the photographer working for the tabloid Pilipino Mirror, while the latter was doing his job during a car accident last week in Las Pinas City.
Hernandez was involved in the accident, according to Drew.
The councilor was “drunk” at the time, photographer said .
Egco said Hernandez should explain the incident.
The PTFoMS made the move after National Press Club (NPC) President Paul Gutierrez of People’s Tonight brought up the issue with Egco.
Gutierrez said the NPC was “alarm[ed]over the alleged threat of Las Piñas City District 2 Councilor Danilo Hernandez to shoot a news photographer.”
“We find this incident alarming as it showed that the ‘culture of impunity’ that has resulted in so many tragedies involving members of the press remains ingrained in the minds of those in position of authority,” he pointed out.
Gutierrez said he learned of Drew’s encounter with Hernandez when reporter and NPC member Jojo Sicat told him about the incident.
Sicat said Drew chanced upon the car accident past midnight last April 22 along the Alabang-Zapote Road and, thus, he took pictures of the incident.
The photographer also asked some questions from those who were involved in the accident so that he could write captions for pictures that he would submit to his editor.
Surprisingly, “Hernandez, who was allegedly drunk, started cursing and badmouthing [Drew] while also threatening to shoot him,” Sicat told Gutierrez.
“Sino ka ba, putang ina, kapag hindi ka tumigil, babarilin kita, puro kayo programa ng programa, wala naman kayo naitutulong [Who are you, son of a whore, if you don’t stop what you are doing, I will shoot you. All you know is to have [news]programs but you are not doing any help],” Hernandez was said to have angrily told Drew.
Sicat said Drew did not react, but instead left the area “with Hernandez… bragging about his being a city councilor of Las Piñas.”
The councilor allegedly further warned Drew, “Magkikita pa tayo, putang ina mo [We’ll see each other again, you son of a whore]!”
On April 24, Drew tried to find out if Hernandez is indeed a city lawmaker over the phone.
The man on the phone whom the victim talked to was Hernandez who, according to him, merely laughed at him while they were talking.
Egco said PTFoMS has legal jurisdiction over the matter as stipulated in the Administrative Order No. 1 of the task force.
He added that PTFoMS will get to the bottom of the incident to give Drew justice.
Egco vowed to strongly support Drew in case he files appropriate charges against Hernandez.
NELSON S. BADILLA