Sinas: Media can write whatever they want
THE TOP official of the regional police has assured the media that they can write whatever they want as long as it is true.
Police Regional Office in Central Visayas (PRO-7) Director, Chief Superintendent Debold Sinas made this pronouncement after the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) expressed concern over reports that policemen have been making the rounds of media outfits in Bacolod and Cebu purportedly to ask for favorable articles for the Philippine National Police (PNP).
“Personally, I will not force the media to write anything about us. I will just give them what they want. That’s how transparent I am,” Sinas said adding that he has not directed any of his men to visit media outfits and dictate what they report.
In a statement, the NUJP claimed that the police visited media offices and took photographs of reporters without permission.
Such cases were reported at SunStar Bacolod, SunStar Cebu, and Bombo Radyo in Cebu.
Sinas admits that he visited SunStar Cebu and Bombo Radyo but claimed that the chief editor of SunStar Cebu welcomed him warmly.
The NUJP also claimed that the visits were part of an alleged directive from PNP Director General Oscar Albayalde to “implement a communications program that has seen law enforcers visiting media outfits to seek ‘partnerships’ to showcase the PNP’s good deeds.”
Sinas however, denied this.
“That’s why we have our press relation officers in order to relay those good news,” said Sinas.
“You can write stories whether good or bad as long as it is true,” he told mediamen. He also told the latter that he can only release limited information and cannot disclose anything that involves national security.
The NUJP released the statement on their facebook page on October 8 reiterating the independence of the media as an entity.
“It is one thing to cover the PNP’s accomplishments, and the media have never been remiss about giving credit where it is due. It is a totally different matter, though, to seek to recruit the media in a campaign meant to spruce up the service’s image,” said the statement.
NUJP-Bacolod released a similar statement asking the police to stop blaming the media for reporting killings and crimes that may have created a negative public perception of the police.
“It is their (media) duty to the public to report the truth. Government forces must never harass, intimidate or attack journalists who are just doing their jobs,” said the statement of NUJP-Bacolod.
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