WHILE everyone having fun and appreciating the contingents of the Parada Dabawenyo 2023, behind the sights and scenes, a SunStar Davao reporter had a tense encounter with auxiliary personnel.

On March 18, 2023, around 9:00 a.m., in the media box or area that was assigned to the media personnel who went to cover the event, Ian Espinosa, SunStar Davao reporter, had a tense encounter with an auxiliary on duty when he decided to transfer to a shadier spot.

“That time gi-ask ko asa ko padulong, then niani ko media man ko sir gusto ko mohawa sa media box didto na ko gikan. Then ana siya bawal man dili VIP diri (When he asked me where I am going, I informed him that I am from the media and was leaving the media box. He responded by saying that I can’t be around there because I was not a VIP),” Espinosa said.

“Nihangyo ko og pwede mosulod kay naa na poy laing media didto. ‘Tas niana sya gahi man kay ka’g ulo. Then iya kong i-attempt ug kwelyo (I asked him if I can just pass through because there were other media personnel in that area. Then he told me that I was too stubborn, and then he attempted to grab my collar),” he added.

He said before the personnel grabbed the collar, he informed him again that he is a reporter covering the activity.

Espinosa noted that the tone of the auxiliary personnel was quite forceful, which surprised him.

He said he simply wanted to transfer to the shadier area where other media personnel were.

“Ang media box bantang sa init, siguro og laing tao pa to, di pud sya gusto didto sa kamaot na pwesto didto. Kung cameraman ka didtong dapita di ka kabantay na maabot sila mayor, si president etc. (It was hot at the media box and it was not in a strategic location. If you were covering the event, you will not see the important things happening like the arrival of the mayor, or the president),” he said.

He added that several media men requested to move out of the unshaded media box.

“Pero mga 10 a.m. pa ata sila nakahawa kanang sakit na kaayo ang init then tanan mi media is nangadto didto sa landong na part (Around 10 a.m. we decided to get out of the media box because it was getting too hot. We were able to find a shady spot where we can transfer),” he said.

Following the incident, Espinosa said he was hurt by how he was treated.

“To be honest, I was offended by how the auxiliary treated me. And for sure other media had been told that way, di lang ako (I’m not the only one),” he said.

In the future, he hopes that auxiliary and event marshals will treat media personnel better.

This is not the first time a media personnel was treated as such by some marshalls. Following the incident, several other media personnel recounted their tense experiences with marshalls during Araw ng Dabaw and also Kadayawan Festival.

Meanwhile, in an interview with the Public Safety and Security Office (PSSO) Head Angel Sumagaysay on March 19, he said that they will investigate the incident, however, he said that the media box was assigned to the Davao City Information Office (CIO).

He said the area was assigned to the CIO to avoid confrontations from happening.

“Kay basin magkaroon na naman ng confrontation ang security [and media]. Kay ang security pag-ingnan na nimo sila nga diha, diha ra gyud na sila (We are trying to avoid another case of confrontation from the security and media men, because our security team, once you told them their assigned area they will really stick to that area and secure the place)” he said.

Also, he said that media personnel indeed were seen leaving the designated area during the event.

“Nakita ko nga naghawa gyud sila didto kay init (I have witnessed it because it's really hot that day),” Sumagaysay said.

Meanwhile, CIO Head Harvey Lanticse and Parada Organizer Harold Quibete have reached out to SunStar Davao following the incident and sperately have apologized. Lanticse also assured that they will raise the concern with the appropriate office.