MANILA, Philippines — Delfin Lorenzana, Secretary of the Department of National Defense (DND), met with…
The DILG will discuss security issues with media organizations.
In order to discuss security issues and safeguard media organizations from various threats, the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) announced it would discuss with media groups.
DILG Secretary Benjamin Abalos Jr. gave this statement to soothe media organizations’ anxieties and concerns following allegations of ad hoc police inspections of some journalists’ homes.
Ipapapakita namin sa proceso, ipapakita namin sa tao, kung ano ang hotline namin, kung ano ang dapat gawan, kung talagang may threat sumulat lang kayo at kung kailangan niyo ng mga police protection ibibigay po namin ito. The PNP’s pledge, the DILG’s commitment, and our own desire are all listed as “yun,” so let’s get started on that day’s work. That’s the commitment of the PNP, the commitment of the DILG to all of this, and that’s what we want; let’s have a conversation about it, Abalos said in a radio interview. “We will show the process, we will show the people, what our hotline is, what to do, and if there is a threat, just write, and if you need police security, we will provide it,” he added.
He continued by saying that a letter outlining this action has been written and sent to numerous media networks and organizations; it is anticipated that it will be distributed over the next few days.
JP Soriano, a television journalist with GMA-7, posted on Twitter that a man who claimed to be a police officer had visited his home.
Soriano claimed he spoke with Marikina Mayor Marcelino Teodoro and got confirmation that police are knocking on the doors of journalists to look for threats.
Additionally, he learned that another journalist had called the local chief executive while police were also at their residence.
“The [Data] Privacy Act has been violated in this case. Soriano added that it should be done at our office, not at our residences, if the PNP genuinely wants to cooperate with us or check on us.
Abalos has already apologized to the media for the alarm the episode generated and spoken with Soriano.
He has directed the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) to rethink its approach and contact media professionals through the proper procedures rather than going to their homes.
Let’s sit down with them because, as they say, “the intent here is that we show the police’s sincerity that we are here to help and protect you because, let’s face it, your job is difficult, and you have a mandate to tell the truth,” which is why I know the intensity of the situation is to “show the police’s sincerity that we are here to help and protect you.”
Brig. Gen. Jonnel Estomo, the head of the NCRPO, was also spoken to by the DILG chairman, who instructed him to extend an apology and halt the police’s house-to-house visits to reporters.
“You mean well, but of course, the others won’t think like that,” I told the general in my conversation. We are here to keep children safe, so let’s try a different approach. Let’s apologize first, the interior secretary emphasized.
The PNP announced that it would develop more detailed instructions on how authorities should interact with media professionals.
According to PNP spokesman Col. Jean Fajardo, the directive for police officers to improve their coordination with journalists in their respective jurisdictions followed the murder of seasoned radio personality Percival Mabasa, commonly known as Percy Lapid.
In reality, according to Fajardo, there is nothing wrong with house visits.
She stressed, however, that there was no direct instruction for authorities to perform security checks on journalists’ homes, specifically to inquire if they had received threats from the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame or with the regional director.
According to Fajardo, the directive was to cooperate with media figures and find out if they had received threats following the passing of broadcaster Percy Lapid.
“Holding a house visitation for our friends in the media was not specifically ordered or directed by the national headquarters. We can only assume that what happened in the other areas was that there had been a different interpretation of how to proceed with the coordination with the media practitioners in their respective areas of jurisdiction. “Itong nangyari sa ilang mga lugar, we can only presume, na iba-iba ang naging interpretation on how to proceed dito,” she continued.
Fajardo added that Gen. Rodolfo Azurin Jr., head of the PNP, has already directed an investigation into the incident and issued directives to take corrective measures.
“We don’t offer any justifications. There may be a problem with the procedure. Subalit should talaga nagkaron muna ng coordination or most likely isinama ‘yung barangay kung maganda ang intensyon, maganda ‘yung efforts nila. (In fact, there was something wrong with the procedure; the intention was good, and the efforts were good, but coordination should have first been done, or perhaps the village officials should have been with them. The PNP had ordered that this practice be stopped until there is a specific set of guidelines that the PNP issues to ensure that it is not being carried out.
Col. Wilson Asueta, the Eastern Police District’s (EPD) acting director, apologized to media representatives for the incident on Sunday.
Asueta stated that the purpose of the visit is to gather data so they can foresee such actions and provide countermeasures if the media personnel faces threats and frequently travels.
He also reaffirmed that the trips weren’t done to spy on anyone.
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