No order to deny media police reports, says PNP
The Philippine National Police (PNP) clarified on Wednesday that it had not issued any order denying members of the media access to its official reports.
A report in Cebu claimed that PNP Director General Ronald dela Rosa had issued a directive prohibiting all police offices and units from releasing spot reports to the media.
Chief Supt. Dionardo Carlos, PNP spokesperson, said there was no such issuance from Dela Rosa nor from Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management Director Augusto Marquez Jr.
He, however, reiterated the PNP policy spelled out in the media relations manual where he assured, “You will not get a hard copy [of the spot report] but you will get the information you need.”
Citing the PNP media relations manual issued in February 2014, Carlos said that information was released to members of the media “through press statements and press releases.”
For other attachments, such as the spot report, PNP personnel would have to abide by the prescribed document handling procedures, he stressed in a briefing.
“We are again reminding our members down the line to be careful in releasing documents,” the spokesperson said, adding that they had to ascertain the security classification of the document and make sure it was not part of an ongoing criminal investigation.
He said that a court order would be required for the release of documents pertaining to rape cases, as well as incidents involving minors.
To obtain a copy of the spot report, members of the media, like other agencies, have to make the necessary communication or request.
After all, Carlos said, a spot report was a classified document compared to the police blotter which was open to the public.
The PNP spokesperson said it was the responsibility of the head of the office and his public information officer to discuss the details in the spot report and act as the conduit to the media.
Carlos pointed out that police personnel needed to be careful in posting pictures of classified documents on social media in order to share them with reporters.
“They (policemen) have been very accommodating while some of them have been a little lazy… They would rather give a copy of the spot report or have it photographed by the reporter instead of composing a press release or statement,” he said.
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