The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) in demanding that Philippines National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa rescind his order to withhold reports from the media. The IFJ calls on President Duterte to guarantee the rights of the media in the Philippines.
PNP chief dela Rosa issued an illegal order that police commanders withhold spot reports from the media. Spot reports are public documents that are available to everyone, not just the media, following an incident. They support transperancy and accountability within the PNP. Dela Rosa has said that press releases will be issued in lieu of spot reports, however as these are not objective reports, they raise concerns about bias.
The NUJP secretary general, Dabet Panelo, said: “There is absolutely no reason why the agency sworn to “serve and protect” the people should cloak its operations in secrecy. We urge colleagues to raise our collective voice in condemnation of this blatant efforts to withhold the truth and, if needed, to be ready to seek all legal redress.”
The IFJ said: “We echo the sentiments made by NUJP regarding this order by the police chief. Withholding information only create distrust between the people and the authorities. By withholding these reports, the police chief is creating an environment that is vulnerable to rumours and false information."
For further information contact IFJ Asia-Pacific on +61 2 9333 0946
The IFJ represents more than 600,000 journalists in 140 countries