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The NPC applauds the DILG’s decision to deploy PNP’media focal persons.’

The Philippine National Press Club, the country’s largest media group, applauded the Department of Interior and Local Government’s (DILG) move to designate police officers as media security focal points.

The Philippine National Police is directed to select a focal person for media security, according to a DILG memorandum issued by Secretary Eduardo M. Ano, who will receive information and respond to any threats hurled against a media worker or any member of the press.

In order to expedite the investigation and settlement of cases of violence, threats, and acts of intimidation against journalists, the focal person will work directly with designated Special Agents of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS).

“We would like to express our gratitude to DILG Secretary Eduardo Ano for responding to the call for the protection of media practitioners, especially in the provinces, especially as the country prepares for national elections in May and where, based on experience, threats, intimidation, and violence against members of the press are usually on the rise,” NPC President Paul M. Gutierrez said in a statement on Thursday.

“We also applaud the Presidential Task Force on Media Security’s action in bringing this issue to the DILG’s attention. The NPC and the PTFoMS have traditionally worked together to provide additional protection to journalists, particularly during election seasons,” he noted.

Gutierrez further emphasized the significance of the DILG directive, which was issued just one day after another former radio commentator who opted to run for an elective position in Tacurong City was murdered and died on Wednesday.

Jaynard Angeles, 36, of Barangay Matiompong in Lambayong town, Sultan Kudarat province, died of a gunshot wound to the head. He was the previous station manager of ‘Radyo ni Juan’ FM station.

“As we look forward to the implementation of the DILG order, we at the National Press Club support the efforts of the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the PTFoMS to investigate into the root of this new occurrence,” Gutierrez stated.

“We stress, however, that the practice of fair, ethical, and responsible journalism as enunciated in the Journalist Code of Ethics is the best safeguard against attacks and threats,” he added.

Moving ahead, Gutierrez advised all NPC-recognized media organizations in the country, as well as other media organizations, to begin a dialogue with local police and DILG officials to ensure that Ano’s instruction is effectively implemented.

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