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Media barred from covering AFP’s CRS change of command ceremony

/ 05:59 PM January 11, 2018
Change of command ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Civil Relations Service (CRS). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Change of command ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Civil Relations Service (CRS). CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Members of the Defense Press Corps (DPC) on Thursday were barred from covering the change of command ceremony of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Civil Relations Service (CRS), the main psychological operations (PSYOPS) and civil-military operations arm of the military.

Newly-installed Special Operations Command chief Maj. Gen. Ronnie Evangelista turned over the CRS post to Brig. Gen. Bienvenido Datuin in a ceremony presided by AFP vice chief Lt. Gen. Salvador Mison at the CRS headquarters at Camp Aguinaldo.

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When Evangelista assumed as Socom commander at Fort Magsaysay in Nueva Ecija on Monday, he invited the media present to attend the CRS change of command ceremony.

But the media who covered the event at CRS were ushered outside by a military personnel a few moments after they got in.

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It remains unclear why the media were suddenly not allowed to cover the program.

It was ironic that at the time of the incident, Evangelista was talking about the role of media in his outgoing speech.

“We really have to keep the public aware of what is going on and that is through the media. Unlike before, we tend to isolate ourselves. How can we expect the public to react properly if they are not informed?” he said.

The CRS is the unit that engages the public through its public information and community relations programs “to create a favorable atmosphere between the community and the AFP.”

Evangelista apologized to reporters later when he was informed of the incident.

“It was not under my control. Alam niyo naman na open ako sa media (You know that I’m open with the media),” he said. /je

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TAGS: AFP, barred, Change of command ceremony, Civil Relations Service, CRS, journalists, Media, reporters
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