CITY OF MALOLOS, Bulacan — A regional television station manager in Central Luzon fears for her life after she claimed that the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency (NICA) included her in its red-tagged list.
In a statement sent to RONDA Balita Online Wednesday night, Sonia Soto, CLTV36 president and general manager, said “I fear for my life after being red-tagged by NICA Regional Director Rolando Asuncion in a forum conducted by his office yesterday at the Don Honorio Ventura State University (DHVSU) auditorium” in the presence of the university’s administration, faculty, staff, and students as his audience.
She pointed out that “This is not fair because he slandered my name before the academic community when he referred to me as someone who works in the media of Pampanga and who is with the so-called Communists and Terrorists Groups (CTG). I cannot accept this label/tag because I am neither a communist nor a terrorist. I am a professional TV station manager and a KBP-licensed TV broadcaster. I have never allowed CLTV36 or any of its shows to be a mouthpiece for anyone advocating terrorism or to raise arms against the government in the course of my work as a broadcaster and General Manager of CLTV36. As a matter of fact, like all TV stations, we use a standard disclaimer to caution the viewers should anyone among the guests in a TV show utter words that may be misconstrued as reflective of the Management’s views on a specific topic being discussed.”
“I am afraid that his intel is incorrect and merely based on speculation. I can only surmise that because of recent calls to abrogate the Soto-Enrile Accord, an agreement I signed in 1982 in behalf of the League of Filipino Students with the then Minister of National Defense (MND), former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile, my name has surfaced. How can this be used as a basis for NICA’s inclusion of my name among the so-called CTG?” Soto pointed out.
She added, “Please know that I am concerned for my safety thus my request for CHR to closely monitor the activities of NICA that may impede my ability to perform my regular functions as a media manager and broadcaster.”
Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said in a statement “The red-tagging of Soto is the latest incident in the increasing incidence of journalists and media organizations targeted for red-tagging by the government and its agents. Since late last year, the NUJP has continually been accused of being a so-called “legal front” of the communist rebel movement, including in stories carried by state news outfits.” (RONDA Balita Online News)