'Unnerving': Instead of trips to journalists' homes, cops told to think of other safeguards | Inquirer News

‘Unnerving’: Instead of trips to journalists’ homes, cops told to think of other safeguards

/ 06:00 PM October 17, 2022

MANILA, Philippines – Senate bloc leaders Joel Villanueva and Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III said on Monday that the Philippine National Police (PNP) should rethink its actions after officers showed up at the houses of journalists unannounced.

Senate Majority Leader Villanueva emphasized how “unnerving” it could be if the police suddenly showed up at the houses of journalists.

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READ: Cop’s visit to journalist’s home stirs media unease

“Bagama’t nag-apologize at itinigil na po ng PNP ang operasyon, panawagan po natin sa liderato ng PNP at sa DILG [Department of the Interior and Local Government] na pag-aralang mabuti at maigi ang iba pang alternatibong hakbang upang siguruhin ang kaligtasan ng ating media.

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READ: NCRPO to cops: Stop visiting homes of journalists in Metro Manila

(Although the PNP has apologized and stopped its operations, we appeal to the leadership of the PNP and the DILG to carefully study other alternative measures to ensure the safety of our media.)

“Directly visiting the homes of the members of the media may be unnerving to them. It gives the impression that the conduct itself is more of surveillance, and could result to grave misunderstanding, especially if there is no immediate danger,” Villanueva said in a statement.

Villanueva says law enforcement and organized media groups can work together to protect the media. In addition, he said acts that would curtail or harm press freedom and privacy rights must be avoided.

Likewise, Senate Minority Leader Pimentel advised the police force to review their moves.

“The intention is good but because the police officers were not in uniform and they went unannounced, natural na makadagdag takot ito sa mga nasa media (naturally, it will add fear to those in the media industry).

“Ang maipapayo ko sa ating kapulisan, pag-isipang mabuti ang mechanics, ang bawat kilos. Siguraduhin na naka-uniform ang mga pulis at ipaalam ang pagbisita nila sa taong gusto nilang bigyan ng seguridad,” he said in a separate statement.

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(My advice to our police personnel, think about the mechanics and every action. Make sure that police officers are in uniform and notify the person they want to protect from their visit.)

Senators Jinggoy Estrada and Risa Hontiveros have also expressed alarm about the PNP’s home visit to journalists.

READ: Lawmakers alarmed by PNP’s visits to journalists’ homes

A GMA Network journalist revealed the visitation of police to journalists’ residences over the weekend.

 —Kristelle Anne Razon, INQUIRER.net trainee
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TAGS: journalists, PNP‎, Police, visit
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