PRO 11: Media barred from getting police spot reports
MEDIA access to police spot reports will be barred by the Police Regional Office (PRO 11), according to a Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters' directive.
PRO 11 spokesperson Police Senior Inspector (PSI) Catherine dela Rey said yesterday that PRO 11 regional director Police Chief Superintendent Manuel Gaerlan told her that they have received the PNP main office's order that limits media access to some police documents and said that they will comply and follow these guidelines.
Unlike before, media could no longer have the copy of the spot reports of the operations conducted by different provincial police stations, municipal police stations, city police stations and police stations within their jurisdiction so as not to preempt the ongoing investigation.
Dela Rey, however, added that media could still obtain copy of initial
reports or police blotters which are classified documents under the PNP Media Relations Manual issued on February 18, 2014 but not the spot report.
By definition, police blotter refers to a record or log where all types of operational and under cover dispatches shall be recorded containing the 5 "W" and 1 "H"(who, what, where, when, why, and how) of an information.
For spot report, it is a document of immediate initial investigative or incident report addressed to higher headquarters pertaining to the commission of the crime, occurrence of natural or man-made disaster or unusual incidents involving loss of lives and damage of properties.
She further assured the media in Davao region that they will release press releases to keep them updated on what is happening in their office and to also direct interview with the public information officers of respective police stations of any incident in their areas of responsibility (AOR) is allowable.
Earlier, PNP spokesperson Superintendent Dionardo Carlos said that police stations will not release police reports to the media if the investigation is still ongoing otherwise allowed by the head of office.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) lambasted the PNP's decision to control the media's access to information in relation to their operations which is a public document and urged police commanders not to obey the "illegal order" for the sake of the principle of "transparency and accountability".