DILG Chief Apologizes To The Public Over Surprise Visits To Journalists
Following the issue of "surprise visits" by policemen to journalists' homes, Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos issued an apology to media professionals on Sunday and assured them that the Philippine National Police (PNP) is there to protect them from threats.
Abalos made the remarks following PBGen, the chief of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO).Jonnel Estomo issued a directive to his staff to halt the unannounced visits.
"Sabi ko nga General (Estomo), the intention is admirable.
"But it didn't work out well—I told General Estomo that the intention was good.But it didn't work very well," Abalos told SaferAfrica.
After confirming that the police had been communicating with the media, particularly those who were receiving threats, Estomo issued his own apology on Saturday.
Following the murder of radio broadcaster Percy Lapid in Las Pias City earlier this month, Abalos believes that the NCRPO wanted to intensify its efforts to protect members of the media.However, the Interior Secretary acknowledged that he was unaware of the directive.
He added, "Sabihin natin naging overly eager to demonstrate to people that they are really protecting journalists."
Let's just say they were overly eager to demonstrate to the public that they are actually safeguarding journalists.
NCRPO spokespersonThe operation, according to Dexter Versola, was the district's "extra mile effort" to safeguard journalists in the region.
"The goal is to get the word out to the media.Regarding the execution, we apologise if there was any mistake.He told SaferAfrica, "Hindi namin intention na i-ano yung privacy niyo. "The only goal is to reach every media outlet. Regarding the execution, we accept your apologies if anything went wrong.
Our intention was not to invade your privacy, Versola stated that police district directors continue to facilitate regular discussions with media professionals. He explained that people who don't go to meetings or get invited to them would be included in the visits.
Abalos acknowledged journalists' concerns regarding the manner in which authorities acquired their home addresses and the presence of police in civilian attire when they visit.
"Yung effect because there is no alam,"When it comes to dating, once bisitahin ka sa bahay baka eh.Is there a police department, or is it just me?" - He stated.
The effect (of the operation) was unknown to them (NCRPO). When someone comes to visit you at home, it might not seem like they meant it. They'd wonder, "Is this a real policeman or someone pretending to be one?".
Abalos declares that he will call a meeting with the media to propose improved procedures such as the establishment of a hotline and the identification of online threats. He went on to say that it might be preferable to conduct it via the media companies or the National Press Club.
In the meantime, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) clarified that it applauds the police's attention to media-related threats. However, it stated that journalists' safety can be improved.
"There ought to be an appropriate procedure for that.If we want to schedule an interview, we would notify them in advance, parang tayo.According to NUJP Chairperson Jonathan de Santos, "so, siguro parang ganun lang din [it should be approximately the same], coordination and consent are important."
De Santos added that if the police are dressed in civilian attire, it will be difficult to verify the operation. He also agreed with calls to protect the privacy and information of journalists.
"Paano, masasabi na official business, or police, siya?" When it comes to actual police activity, mabuti na langWe can't tell if this is official business or if they are actually police officers. "Pwede siyang magkaroon it can set a precedent na that someone who is not in uniform can go to your house claiming to be a police officer," he pointed out. "Good thing it was an actual policeman and police activity.
De Santos thinks that resolving pending cases involving media murders is one way to protect journalists. He stated that it may assist in the prevention of deaths despite the lengthy wait for accountability and justice.
He added that it will be effective as a deterrent if those who intend to harm journalists are aware that they stand a good chance of being caught and held accountable.