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HOSTAGE CRISIS
Live media coverage ‘may have jeopardized’ rescue bid, says solon

By Lira Dalangin-Fernandez
INQUIRER.net
First Posted 15:03:00 08/24/2010

Filed Under: Media, hostage taking, Crime

MANILA, Philippines?Did media coverage jeopardize police operations during Monday?s bloody hostage-taking of Hong Kong nationals in Manila?

Cebu Representative Gabriel Luis Quisumbing thinks so, and the neophyte lawmaker wants a media blackout on police and military positions, movements and actions during crisis situations.

Quisumbing noted that the live coverage of the incident ?may have jeopardized police rescue operations on site.?

?Coverage should not further endanger lives in crisis situations. In fact, it should be restrained or even prohibited to avoid obstruction of operations of the authorities to take control of the situation,? he said in a statement.

Filling House Bill No. 2737, Quisumbing said that ?media coverage should be contained as not to hinder or obstruct efforts to resolve the situation.?

Under the bill, crisis situation may include hostage taking, bomb threats, coup d? etat, and kidnapping.

The military and police may provide an update to the media, but should not give vital operational details that may aid the perpetrators during crisis situation, it added.

Persons who violate the measure faces imprisonment of up to six years and a fine of P20,000.

Quisumbing said the measure is not meant to curtail press freedom, but aims to protect lives.



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