Policemen visit newspaper office in Cebu, too
CEBU CITY, Philippines – A day after policemen visited a newspaper office in Bacolod City to ask for favorable coverage, another group of police officers dropped by a newspaper outfit in Cebu City following the order of its higher command to establish a partnership with the media.
Last Thursday, October 4, two policemen dropped by the SunStar Cebu office at P. del Rosario Street in Cebu City to take photos of its reporters and editors.
SunStar Cebu is the main office of the only network of community newspapers in the country, including SunStar Bacolod, which first reported the visit of 4 policemen to its office in Bacolod City on October 3.
Sunstar Cebu public and standards editor Pachico Seares, in his article "Photo-taking of journalists as threat from police: not for now?" published on October 5, confirmed the visit of the police to their office.
He said the policemen were ordered by their superiors in connection with the Philippine National Police's (PNP) program to reach out to the community through the media. (READ: Journalists slam PNP over door-to-door bid for good coverage)
"It looked like an innocent request. But it could be taken as a threat of sorts if the media community would... consider that the task is redundant since reporters are already identified through company-issued IDs. If really needed, photo and video shots can be taken of the reporters right at their beat, which they cover pretty much of their time. As to desk-bound journalists, their photos may be secured online or requested from their respective media units," he said.
Seares said the visit was explained politely and so the initial fear was dismissed by one editor who even posed for a photo for the uniformed visitors. Broadcasters though later picked it up; apparently, there were similar incidents reported by other media outlets.
Seares said there's no cause for alarm.
"Although media is prone to check a speculation before squelching it, there’s no reason for a full-blown alarm, anyway 'not for now,' as the general loves to put it," he said. – Rappler.com