‘Better coordination’; NOCPPO: Media need to coordinate with police to avoid conflicts

Posted by watchmen
August 15, 2023
Posted in HEADLINE

By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga

The Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) said yesterday that better coordination between the police and members of the media is the key to avoid any misunderstandings and conflicts when it comes to reporting certain incidents.

NOCPPO spokesperson, Police Captain Judesses Catalogo, made the response after a local police chief in Camarines Sur’s Iriga City recently ordered the arrest of a radio personality who was just scanning police blotters for news reports.

The incident sparked outrage among the country’s media industry and journalists, as the reporter was jailed for three days.

Catalogo explained that blotter reports are supposed to be public documents, although prior permission is needed before a member of the press can access these.

However, he said there will be instances when reporters should not reveal the identity of the victim or suspect, if the incident involves abuse.

Catalogo said holding information such as the victim’s identity, especially women or minors, is very important so as to protect their rights, and to prevent possible “victim shaming.”

He added the NOCPPO has not recorded such incidents involving journalists and police personnel in Negros Occidental.

Owing to better coordination, police commanders maintained close ties with members of the media.

On August 2, Jose Rizal “Jorez” Pajarez, a reporter of Radyo Natin 107.1 Iriga, was arrested after he accessed blotter reports of a police station, allegedly without the permission of the local police chief, identified as Lt. Colonel Ralph Jason Oida.

Pajarez was charged with violating provisions of the Data Privacy Act of 2012, and the incident was only made public last week.

Oida was later relieved from his post after several media institutions condemned the arrest.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines raised questions over the incident, stating that the Data Privacy Act “is not applicable to personal information processed for the purpose of journalism.”

Police Major General Benjamin Acorda Jr., Philippine National Police chief, ordered an investigation over the incident.

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security has also urged Oida to drop the charges filed against Pajarez./DGB, WDJ


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