JOURNALISTS could be targets of election violence with the heat of the May polls in the air and the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) is supporting suggestions to arm members of the press against threats.
“If pressed against the wall, we need to fight back because that’s the natural instinct of a person,” PTFoMS executive director Joel Egco said during the virtual launching of the Media Security Vanguards yesterday.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Friday officially launched its “media security vanguards” who will be assigned to protect journalists from threats of violence, discrimination, misinformation, and corruption ahead of the elections in May.In his speech at the… Read More
MANILA – The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) hailed the decision of Philippine National Police (PNP) chief General Dionardo Carlos to designate Col. Roderick Augustus Alba as the focal person in the protection and security of all journalists and media workers during the… Read More
A murder complaint has been filed against a suspect in connection with the killing of Newsline Philippines reporter Orlando “Dondon” Dinoy last Oct. 30, 2021, the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) said on Tuesday.Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, PTFoMS… Read More
MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded the Presidential Task Force on Media Security’s (PTFoMS) efforts in protecting the media workers’ welfare by upholding press freedom in the country. In his message for the 5th founding anniversary of the PTFoMs, Duterte expressed hope… Read More
MANILA – The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) is in high gear as it celebrated Monday its 5th year anniversary as the forefront agency of the government in defending press freedom by protecting the life, liberty and security of media workers in the Philippines.As one of… Read More
Told to be more vigilant as the election season nears
By ROGERM. BALANZA
Radio broadcasters are in the crossfire of political violence during elections, and a Malacanang official warned against a spike in media killings with the May 2022 national elections only months ahead.
Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco, Executive Directorof the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), issued the warning following the killing of a radio broadcaster in Cebu City.
Reynante “Rey” Cortes, a blocktimer for radio station dyRB, was shot dead by motorcycle “riding in tandem” gunmen in Barangay Mambaling, Cebu City on Thursday.
PTFoMS is an inter-agency body created by President Rodrigo Duterte at the start of his term in 2016, to protect members of the press against violence and intimidation.
Egco reminded broadcasters, specifically blocktimers, to be more vigilant as the election season nears.
He said, historically, there is a spike in election-related violence committed against blocktimers as the election heats up, especially at the local level.
Blocktiming is the practice of buying “blocks” of air time to produce programs independent of networks and stations.
Egco has ordered Philippine National Police (PNP) investigators to thoroughly look into the case to find out if the incident was in connection with his blocktime program.
The PNP is one of the law enforcement agencies that comprise the PTFoMS.
Records of media killings in the Philippines show that most of the victims were blocktime radio broadcasters identified with political persons or groups.
The PTFoMS has already requested legislators to look into the practice by radio stations of selling time slots to the blocktime broadcasters, most of whom are not accredited by the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters ng Pilipinas (KBP), which police media ethics violations by broadcasters.
The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) called for the creation of a regional counterpart in the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (BARMM) to ensure the safety of media workers and prevent another Maguindanao massacre from happening again.
“I urge the Bangsamoro Region to create a counterpart Task Force of PTFoMS. The mechanism being implemented by the PTFoMS has been acknowledged by international organizations as an effective deterrent against media violence,” PTFoMS Executive Director Usec. Joel Sy Egco said.
Sy Egco made this call during the oath-taking ceremony of the members and officials of the Bangsamoro Press Corps (BPC) held at the Shariff Kabunsuan Cultural Complex, BARMM Government Compound, Cotabato City recently.
He said “a BARMM Task Force on Media Security could be the only solution in preventing a repetition of the gruesome Maguindanao massacre that happened in 2009,” referring to the incident in Ampatuan town that left 58 people dead, including 32 journalists.