Press Release
November 11, 2015


Sen. Francis "Chiz" Escudero condemned the manhandling by police of a radio reporter who, according to the senator, was merely doing his job as a member of the media.

"We respect the ongoing investigation, but right now, what is clear is that the way the policeman dealt with the reporter was overkill. It did not have to come to that," he said.

The senator said dzRH reporter Edmar Estabillo had the right to access information on the police blotter, which is a public document.

"There was no question on Mr. Estabillo's legal personality as a member of a legitimate media entity. If the issue was the need to verify his identity, seeking a simple ID would have sufficed. There are more civilized ways to do that than wrestling down a man," said Escudero, the frontrunner in various pre-election surveys for vice president.

Cameras at the Marikina police station caught Estabillo arriving at the station, talking to SPO2 Manuel Layson, the desk officer on duty at that time, and then the two disappearing into the office. Moments later, the video showed Layson's arm around the neck of Estabillo, who was struggling in vain to get out of Layson's hold. Estabillo was pinned to the ground and handcuffed, in view of two other members of the Marikina police.

Police accused the reporter of being arrogant and refusing to present his ID. Layson alleged that it was Estabillo who first laid a hand on him and took his badge.

"Arrogance, on either side, will get us nowhere, but as a man in uniform, SPO2 Layson should have exercised maximum tolerance," Escudero said. "I had higher expectations of authorities."

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