Journalists condemn ban on spot reports

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12:28 AM September 14th, 2017

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By: Agnes Alpuerto, September 14th, 2017 12:28 AM

THE National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) demands the rescission of the order of Police Director General Ronald dela Rosa barring media access to spot reports.

“[It is] clearly an illegal order to withhold spot reports from media,” said the NUJP in a statement released yesterday.

“We likewise urge police commanders not to obey a patently illegal order,” the statement read.

But PNP spokesperson Senior Supt. Dionardo Carlos said there was no directive from the PNP to bar media access to spot reports.

During a press briefing on Wednesday, Carlos said Camp Crame merely reiterated the PNP-Media relations policies and manual.

He explained that police offices should exercise proper handling of documents especially if there are security issues.

Carlos added that the PNP will be issuing press releases, news releases and press statements on police operations. The availability of the spot reports for media, meanwhile, will depend on the public information officer.

But NUJP said, “Suggestions that press releases will be used in lieu of allowing access to spot reports are not acceptable. Press releases, by their very nature, are sanitized and angled to favor the issuing body and are not an objective source of information.”

“There is absolutely no reason why the agency sworn to ‘serve and protect’ the people should cloak its operations in secrecy,” the statement further read.

The PNP spokesperson said media should not worry about police transparency or accessibility of reports. He said media institutions just need to make a request to access documents.

“All we have to do is follow the procedure,” said Carlos.

A spot report is a document containing essential information about police operations, the names of the members of the operating unit, the victim, suspect, etc.

NUJP is an organization of Filipino journalists promoting unity and dignity among media practitioners.

The media organization urged radio, television and newspaper reporters to raise a collective voice and condemn the “blatant efforts to withhold the truth.”

NUJP warned that it is ready to seek all legal redress. /With reports from Inquirer.net

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