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Exemption of the media from threat assessment is welcomed by the PTFoMS executive.

MANILA – Excluding media practitioners from danger assessments for gun permits is a welcome step, according to Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, Executive Director of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS).

In a radio interview, Egco stated that undergoing a danger assessment to obtain a firearms license requires time and effort.

He pointed out that the study is unnecessary because journalists’ occupations are already perilous, particularly for those who expose corruption and reveal abuses of power.

“When you do your duty, advocate a cause, or crusade for something, the media will inevitably target someone,” Egco remarked on Radyo Pilipinas.

Egco also applauded Duterte’s signing of Republic Act (RA) No. 11766 on May 6, which extends the validity of the license to possess weapons and ammunition from two to five or ten years.

He sees the “permission to carry” extension as a big relief for gun owners.

Egco was the founding president of the Association of Responsible Armed Media in 2005, and has long advocated for responsible gun ownership and sports shooting.

“After the President signed the National Press Freedom Day in August, this is a really good move,” he remarked.

Egco expressed gratitude to Duterte for signing the two laws that recognize the value of journalists in Philippine democracy.

Meanwhile, Egco reported that no threats against journalists were reported during the recent national and local elections on May 9.

“During the elections, there have been no incidents involving the media.” Based on our collected data, we are pretty peaceful,” he stated.

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