Aliwan Fiesta 2024
DZRH Logo
KBP raises concern on possible 'chilling effect' after Radyo Natin reporter arrest
KBP raises concern on possible 'chilling effect' after Radyo Natin reporter arrest
Nation
KBP raises concern on possible 'chilling effect' after Radyo Natin reporter arrest
by Mhillen Nicole Borja10 August 2023
Watch Video

Concerns about a potential 'chilling effect' have emerged in response to the apprehension and detainment of a journalist from Radyo Natin - Iriga, who had merely accessed a police blotter.

This issue was raised by Atty. Rejie Jularbal, spokesperson of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), after the journalist, Jose Rizal 'Joeriz' Pajares, was detained for three days due to this alleged offense.

Jularbal emphasized that the Data Privacy Act, as cited by Iriga Chief-of-Police Lt. Col. Ralph Jason Oida, should not impede media rights.

"Definitely, nagkakaroon ng chilling effect 'yung operations ng police officers sa pagkulong sa reporter at kinasuhan pa," remarked the KBP spokesperson.

Advertisement

Meanwhile, former Integrated Bar of the Philippines President Atty. Egon Cayosa, in an exclusive interview, asserted that the police blotter is a public document, thereby not violating any laws when accessed by a reporter.

"Mali mali po 'yang colonel na 'ya, buti nabanggit niyo dahil gawain 'yan ng kapulisna minsa, misinformed sila. Kasi ang police blotter ay hindi naman 'yan personal information o sensitive personal information," said the lawyer.

The 'Memorandum Circular 37 Series of 2022'

However, in a separate interview with DZRH, Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFOMS) Undersecretary Paul Gutierrez indicated that the basis for Pajares' arrest was the new Memorandum Circular 37 Series of 2022.

Advertisement

"I already expressed also my concern to our Chairman of the Commission on Human Rights to look into this. Ang pinagbabatayan po kasi ng PNP ay 'yun pong Memorandum Circular 37 Series of 2022 which was filed by then Chief of PNP Archie Gamboa," stated the PTFOMS official.

Under MC 37 S. 2022, or "Police Blotter and CIRAS Information Access," sharing the police blotter is restricted, limited to police personnel, parties with real interest, or those with a court order.

The memorandum includes the following provisions:

  • Access to the police blotter and CIRAS is limited to PNP personnel. Those who access the information must maintain confidentiality and prevent information leakage.
  • Information requests can only be approved if made by the data subject, information owner, or court.
  • Public officials and employees must not misuse or divulge confidential information to further private interests, grant undue advantage, or prejudice public interest.

Gutierrez stressed that journalist Pajares is not at fault, and they are actively addressing the situation and rectifying the memorandum's contents.

Advertisement

"I will also be appealing to the attending Fiscal na i-evaluate mabuti itong [memorandum] na 'to at makita niyang wala namang kasalanan 'yung reporter. Ang nangyari lang po rito, hindi siya nakapagpaalam sa police," he added.

"I'm appealing to the PNP to kindly review and temporarily suspend the relevant provision in MC 37 Series of 2022," he asserted.

He also mentioned that he had requested the police to withdraw the case against the journalist.

"We are appealing to the Iriga COP to drop this complaint. And to the attending Fiscal, we urge that this matter not be elevated to court," he assured.

Advertisement

Share
Related Topics
listen Live
DZRH News Live Streaming
Home
categories
RHTV Link
Latest
Most Read