NPC wants PNP media handbook reviewed

THE National Press Club of the Philippines has asked for a review of the Philippine National Police’s published handbook on media safety before it is distributed to the members of the press, saying it was awkward and leery that the end users of the booklet were left out in its conceptualization.

NPC President Jerry Yap said the “one-sided” preparation and “surprise” publication of the handbook naturally cast doubts on its integrity and reliability since none of the existing media groups in the country was consulted or, at the very least, informed about the project.

“While we welcome the publication of the handbook which we believe would be helpful for members of the media, propriety dictates that the end users and other stakeholders be consulted first. The NPC has announced as early as August that it was coming out with a similar handbook later this year after consulting with experts in the field of security, including the PNP, and other media organizations. They cannot force this one on us unless we find it highly reliable and acceptable,” said Yap.

“If there are things in it that are glaringly objectionable, we will shoot it down. Otherwise, we will recommend it,” Yap added.

The NPC president has tasked NPC Director and chairman of the press freedom committee, Joel Sy Egco, to communicate with the PNP leadership and request for copies of the handbook for the Club’s scrutinity. Egco sent a letter to PNP chief, Director General Raul Bacalzo, to express the Club’s strong apprehension over the “unilateral publication of the handbook.”

“While we welcome the initiative of the PNP in coming out with such, we wish to express apprehension over the fact that the publication of said handbook was done unilaterally and without prior consultation with any of the existing media organizations,” Egco said in his letter.

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