PNP distributes handbook for mediamen

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) has published a “Handbook on Personal Security Measures for Media Practitioners” as part of continuing efforts to provide protection to journalists who face threats due to the nature of their profession.

Director General Raul Bacalzo, National Police chief, said the aim of the handbook on personal security is to provide journalists and their families the skills and basic knowledge in avoiding security threats.

“The intention is to provide media practitioners with the basic knowledge and practical skills in securing themselves and their family, determining possible threats and improving communications among all concerned including local PNP units,” Bacalzo said.

The PNP chief said the publication of the handbook “is timely as no less than President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III has directed the PNP to address the unlawful killings of media and militants particularly investigation of cases as well as boosting security measures for those under threat.”

Since 2001, the PNP Task Force Usig has recorded a total of 39 work-related fatal attacks against media personalities. Task Force Usig has solved 85 percent of these cases.

The PNP chief, who once headed Task Force Usig, said studies showed that deaths may have been prevented if mediamen follow basic precautionary measures.

“The police can never secure every single citizen every minute of the day. But studies suggest that some of the deaths could have been prevented if a few basic precautions had been followed,” Bacalzo said.

“I therefore call upon our friends in the media sector to study and internalize the precautionary measures and security tips that are intended to protect you and your family from the most commonly employed attacks,“ he said.

The Directorate for Investigation and Detective Management under Chief Supt Arturo Cacdac has published an initial 2,000 copies of the 48-page handbook for circulation to the Police Regional Offices and local media clubs in the regions.

The 48-page handbook contains, among other subjects, literature on threat detection and assessment, basic guidance of personal security measures, and introductory instructions on counter-surveillance and evasive techniques; home, workplace and travel security; and handling threats.

“The security tips included in this handbook are designed to arm and empower media practitioners to effectively protect themselves and their families against criminality and other forms of threats and danger,” Cacdac said.

“Personal security is a personal concern, the greater effort you put into the task, the greater will be the degree of safety,” he added. Anthony Vargas

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