PCP Statement on a Photo with "Uncalled for, Insensitive and even Libelous" Caption Heading


LETTER to Philippine Daily Inquirer

TO: Leticia Jimenez-Magsanoc
Editor in Chief
Jose Ma. Nolasco
Managing Editor
Artemio Engracia, Jr.
News Editor
Ruben Alabastro
Chief, News Day Desk
Nilo Paurom
Chief, Page One Operations

Greetings from the Philippine Center for Photojournalism!

We would like to call your attention to the caption of a photograph showing President Aquino shaking hands with a veiled Muslim woman published on May 9, 2012.

The heading SECURITY RISK! We believe is uncalled for, insensitive and even libelous.

Although the burka is frowned upon in some Western societies, it remains to be part of the culture of Islamic societies. We believe labeling a dress a security risk does not take into account the nuances of the Islamic culture. It is also an affront to the minority Muslim population of this country that a symbol of Muslim culture is labeled outright a security risk and further fuels the stereotyping of our Muslim brothers as terrorists.

We therefore request that the Philippine Daily Inquirer, being a respected publication and a leading newspaper in the country, exercise the proper course of action by issuing a retraction and printing a public apology to the offended parties.

The Philippine Center for Photojournalism is an organization established in 1997 and count as its members photojournalists from various newspapers, wire agencies and other publications. Part of the group's mission is to establish professionalism in the industry and to promote the ethical practice of photography in the Philippines. We therefore deem it our role to cite instances detrimental to our profession, such as this incident, and call the responsible party/ies to action.

We thank you.

Sincerely,Fernando Sepe Jr.Chairman
Philippine Center for Photojournalism

*** Screen Shot of PDI May 9, 2012 Edition