SUBIC BAY The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) held yet another successful seminar on the Operational Guidelines of Administrative Order No. 1, which established the lead coordinating body tasked to investigate media killings, at the By The Beach Resort Hotel in Subic on Thursday.
This is one of the most successful gatherings so far and I would like to thank everyone who attended our third seminar, PTFoMS Executive Director and Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco said in his speech.
The seminar was attended by nearly 150 members of the press, prosecutors and law enforcers from Central Luzon.
Egco said they intend to finish all the seminars within this year, particularly in regions where there are high cases of media killings and harassments.
He underscored the need to tackle not only the role of the police and legal experts in protecting and handling cases of media practitioners but on how to professionalize the ranks of the media.
We also discuss the corruption of media, AC/DC, 'hao-siao' (bogus journalists) which (is) the problem in the local level. So it is now clear with them that we don't tolerate these problems, Egco said.
He said out of nine media practitioners killed in the past two years, only two have been verified as work-related killings, referring to Larry Que and Christopher Lozada.
But it does not mean that we did not pay attention to seven others. Our policy is always (to) presume that it is work-related but the rest are due (to) personal affairs, politics and even love life, he said.
Based on PTFoMS records, the other seven media members killed include Apolinario Suan Jr., Mario Contaoi, Marlon Muyco, Joaquin Briones, Rudy Alicaway, and Leo Diaz.
Egco said the task force will continue to perform its mandate to go after perpetrators of media killings and harassments.
For the first time in (the) history of the Philippines, we have a government that made a declaration against media killings. Through this, we can show to the world that we are serious in our efforts to address this problem, he said.
The creation of the PTFoMS has continued to get praises from the media, thanking Duterte for providing security to media practitioners.
Before, we thought that our President hates the media, but when he signed this AO 1, we are very happy that the administration has concerns for the media, Publishers Association of the Philippines Inc. president Nelson Santos said.
For his part, National Press Club (NPC) president Paul Gutierrez thanked Duterte for giving so much attention to the welfare of the Philippine media.
This is very historic that we, the police and the media groups have closer coordination, Gutierrez said.
He said the NPC is one with the PTFoMS's 20/20 vision to remove the Philippines from the world's most dangerous places for media practitioners by year 2020.
Aside from PAPI and NPC, officials and members of the local media groups, including Bulacan Press Club, Camp Olivas Press Society, Central Luzon Media Association, Macabulos Press Corps, Pampanga Press Club and Nueva Ecija Press Club, have attended the seminar.
Lawyer Yuri Beltran represented the National Bureau of Investigation 3 (Central Luzon) while headed by Police Regional Office3 Director Chief Supt. Amado Corpus led the provincial police directors and other officers from Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales.
PTFoMS legal consultant Jay de Castro discussed the AO 1 while Task Force Chief of Staff Abraham Agamata and PTFoMS chief investigator Rechie Duldulao explained the Operational Guidelines and Protocols, respectively. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency