A 7-year-old photo of the country’s first all-women safety training for journalists in Mindanao has been misused by a pro-military Facebook page to link ABS-CBN journalist Rowena Paraan to communist insurgents in yet another case of red-tagging.
The photo, which first appeared on March 17, 2013 in a Mindanews article about the two-day training, was misappropriated by Enlightened Pinoy on May 13 for two posts widely shared by supporters of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Taken by Vic Kintanar, the photo shows Paraan teaching first aid to journalists who attended the March 16-17 safety training course organized by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP).
Paraan was NUJP char at the time. At present, she heads ABS-CBN’s News Public Service and Bayan Mo, iPatrol Mo.
The 2013 training was held at the Gardens of Malasag Eco-Tourism Village in Cagayan de Oro City for about 20 journalists from Pagadian, Zamboanga, Lanao del Norte, Kidapawan and Surigao del Norte and development communication students from Mati, Davao Oriental.
Enlightened Pinoy, however, claimed that the photo shows wounded New People’s Army rebels being treated in a forest. Its May 13 12:26 p.m. post reads:
RUN NPA RUN. MGA LARAWAN NG MGA NPA NA SUGATAN AT GINAMOT NALANG SA KAGUBATAN (Run NPA run. Pictures of injured NPA rebels being treated in the forest)!
Its 4:28 p.m. post insinuated that Paraan was connected to the Communist Party of the Philippines, National Democratic Front and NPA. It reads:
AAAAAY BISTADO‼️ PAKI EXPLAIN. Ano ang tunay na ugnayan ni Rowena Paraan, (NUJP) Head ng Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo, ng ABS-CBN,,, at ng CPP-NPA-NDF??? ANONG GINAGAWA NIYO SA BUNDOK (Exposed! Please explain. What is the real connection between Rowena Paraan, (NUJP) head of Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo of ABS-CBN , and the CPP-NPA_NDF? What are you doing in the mountain)
The National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF ELCAC), a government agency, recently accused the CPP-NDF-NPA of riding on the closure of ABS-CBN to discredit the government and oust Duterte.
Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr., Southern Luzon Command chief and a member of the task force, dared supposed CPP supporters operating in the media to expose themselves.
He also said most of the following organizations were CPP “creations”: NUJP, Karapatan, the National Union of Peoples Lawyer, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Anakbayan, Bayan, Bulatlat, Altermidya, Kodao, Tudla, Kilab, Northern Dispatch and the Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
In a report on the state of the Philippine media released on World Press Freedom Day, the Freedom for Media, Freedom for all Network identified red-tagging or red-baiting as among the dangers facing Filipino journalists who report on issues and concerns that officials want to conceal.
Red-tagging has led not only to serious harassment but also arrests on trumped-up charges, including illegal possession of firearms, it said.
Various media and civil society groups have denounced the attacks on the media, including red-tagging.
Enlightened Pinoy’s first post generated 1,238 interactions, data from the social media monitoring tool Crowdtangle show.
Its late afternoon post, which singled out Paraan, and similar posts on Facebook pages such as Enlightened Youth and Bukas Isip and at least 27 groups collected more than 3,500 interactions. The pages and groups have a combined 1.7 million following. Enlightened Pinoy has nearly 85,000 followers.
Almeda, V. (2013, March 17). Women journalists, media workers gather for 1st all-women safety training. Mindanews. Retrieved from https://www.mindanews.com/top-stories/2013/03/women-journalists-media-workers-gather-for-1st-all-women-safety-training/
Enlightened Pinoy. (2020, May 13). AAAAAY BISTADO‼️ PAKI EXPLAIN. Ano ang tunay na ugnayan ni Rowena Paraan, (NUJP) Head ng Bayan Mo, Ipatrol Mo, ng ABS-CBN,,, at ng CPP-NPA-NDF??? ANONG GINAGAWA NIYO SA BUNDOK? [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/743102612735454/posts/1103231493389229
Enlightened Pinoy. (2020, May 13). RUN NPA RUN. MGA LARAWAN NG MGA NPA NA SUGATAN AT GINAMOT NALANG SA KAGUBATAN ‼️‼️‼️ [Facebook status update]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/enlightenedpinoy/posts/1103128813399497
Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network. (2020, May 4). Press freedom further restricted amid COVID-19 pandemic. Retrieved from https://pcij.org/article/4009/state-of-media-freedom-in-ph-2
Nepomuceno, P. (2020, May 12). No fight with ABS-CBN, only with Reds: Parlade. Philippine News Agency. Retrieved from https://www.pna.gov.ph/articles/1102610