Photojournalists hold protest vs. ‘anti-intrusion’ bill

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MANILA — Photojournalists held a rare protest action in front of the House of Representatives today against House Bill 4807 or the “Protection against Personal Intrusion Act.”

Once signed into law, it will be “unlawful to capture, or to trespass on private property in order to capture, any type of visual image, sound recording, or other physical impression of any individual, personal or family activity for commercial purposes and even if no physical trespass has occurred.”

Mike Alquinto, chairman of the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines (PCP), said that such laws are unnecessary.

“There are the Constitution and the Bill of Rights to protect individual rights. But we do not need laws that will discourage photojournalists and other photographers to tell stories of the people,” Alquinto said.

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The bill is co-authored by Representatives Rufus Rodriguez (Cagayan de Oro), Gwendolyn Garcia (Cebu 3rd Dist.), Jose Atienza (Buhay Partylist), Bulacan 4th District Rep. Linabelle Ruth Villarica, Pangasinan 2nd District Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil, and Misamis Occidental 1st district Rep. Jorge Almonte, who also chairs the committee on public information.

Bayan Muna representatives Neri Javier Colmenares and Carlos Zarate joined the photographers in the protest action. Colmenares and Zarate were the first members of Congress who expressed opposition to the bill.

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Text by Kodao Productions
Photos by Raymund B. Villanueva

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