By Lottie Salarda / NUJP Media Safety Office
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Batangas Chapter slammed a new Philippine National Police (PNP) Regional Office IV-A policy disallowing members of the local media to access spot police reports “unless a clearance is secured from its national headquarters.”
The policy has been enforced since June 19, 2018, the local media group said.
NUJP Batangas said they were notified through the official email address of Batangas PNP.
Marlon Luistro, GMA Network’s stringer in Batangas said he was informed by Batangas PNP PIO Police Senior Inspector Hazel Luma-ang Suarez that the prohibition is in accordance with existing national policy.
“Lahat ng police stations (ng Batangas), ayaw magbigay ng police report. Itinuturo lahat sa PIO nila. Hindi nagbibigay ng information ang Chiefs of Police nila. Nagtataka kami bakit hindi nila binibigay iyon. Yung ibinibigay lang nila ay yung mga press release ng mga accomplishments nila,” Luistro said.
“Sa bago nilang policy hindi na namin naibabalita ang ibang nangyayari, katulad ng stabbing, shooting incident at iba pa,” Luistro added.
Luistro learned, however, that there is no such policy in place in other provinces.
Batangas journalists wrote to Chief PNP Police Director General Oscar Albayalde last September 24 to seek clarification but have yet to receive a reply.
They have also requested a dialogue with Albayalde as well as Batangas and Calabarzon police directors.
Upon learning of their letter to the Chief PNP, PSI Suarez called Luistro on his cellphone asking why Luistro’s group brought the issue before the office of the Chief PNP.
Luistro told Suarez that they only wanted clarification on the new policy from Albayalde himself. #