Updated: June 13, 2019 05:33 AM GMT
Margarita Valle, a columnist with the Davao Today newspaper, at a press conference in Manila on June 12. (Photo by Angie de Silva)
A journalist arrested on June 9 after being “mistaken” for a wanted person in the southern Philippine region of Mindanao is to sue the police for illegal detention.Margarita Valle, a columnist with the Davao Today newspaper, said police officers ignored her appeals to call friends to verify her identity and held her incommunicado for 12 hours.She said officers also failed to read her her rights and refused a request to examine the warrant for her arrest. journalists," she said. "I woke up today with the knowledge that I was so near death," she told ucanews.com without elaborating.Valle said her experience was not an isolated incident because religious workers in Mindanao have become vulnerable to attacks because of their stand against human rights violations. Valle has been involved with several faith-based groups in their educational programs for tribal youth. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, meanwhile, said the incident involving Valle was an "abduction attempt.""It’s not isolated," agreed Dabet Panelo, secretary-general of the union. "Journalists in Mindanao have come under fire these last few years," she said.
The warrant, however, was later found to be for another person.The police's Criminal Investigation and Detection Group in the city of Pagadian, where Valle was held, later admitted the mistake.
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