Press council asks Luigi: Lift order regulating interviews

By: Izobelle T. Pulgo December 01,2016 - 10:16 PM
Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III (center) together with Chairman Dr. Pureza Onate and lawyer Eddie Barrita laughs during a discussion of Executive Order No. 15. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III (center) together with Chairman Dr. Pureza Onate and lawyer Eddie Barrita laughs during a discussion of Executive Order No. 15. (CDN PHOTO/TONEE DESPOJO)

The Cebu Citizens Press Council (CCPC) passed a resolution requesting Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing to lift his order requiring all press interviews to be directed and handled by the Mandaue City Public Information Office (PIO).

Elias Baquero, Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists (CFBJ) president, presented the resolution during the 45th quarterly meeting of the CCPC at Marcelo B. Fernan Cebu Press Center on Thursday.

The mayor’s memorandum issued last Aug. 8 requires Mandaue City Hall’s department heads and employees to refrain from granting interviews without prior consultation with the Mandaue City Public Information Office (PIO) or with the mayor’s office.

In a statement last August on the memorandum, Atty. Elaine Bathan, the mayor’s chief of staff, said the memorandum “only requires [that] coordination be made with the PIO so that the office can assist them during these interviews.”

The CCPC resolution stated that since its issuance, “most department heads and employees have shunned interviews with reporters, even refusing to answer simple questions about matters of public interest.”

Quisumbing was unavailable for comment while Bathan said the order didn’t curtail freedom of information nor prohibit department heads from being interviewed by media.

The CCPC quarterly meeting also had as guest Cebu Gov. Hilario Davide III who talked about his Executive Order No. 15 which ensures transparency and access to information in the Capitol.

“I signed the E.O. No. 15 in the belief that access to information helps the public make public officials and employees accountable for their actions and allows public debate that produces an informed and productive citizen,” the governor said.

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TAGS: Cebu, Cebu Citizens-Press Council, Mandaue City, Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing, memorandum, press

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