Cebu Citizens-Press Council

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Ban on release of police spot reports ‘unproductive’

September 14th, 2017 · No Comments

CEBU CITIZENS-PRESS COUNCIL STATEMENT
Sept. 14, 2017

Tell media any major change
of procedure in releasing
police spot reports.

[1] What is the policy of the PNP on the release of spot reports of the
police to the news media? Is there a ban or not?

The CPPO-Community Police Relations Office Sept. 12 said there is and Camp Crame didn’t explain why. The PNP spokesman Sept. 13 said there is none; what Crame instructed was caution on release of spot reports and other information to media.

We ask the regional police office, through its community relations officer, to explain to Cebu journalists ANY CHANGE ON PROCEDURE in the release of spot reports. To beat reporters and their editors, the major cause of concern is any rule that tends to obstruct or delay information gathering.

[2] The Cebu press is aware of the PNP Community Relations Manual
(Revised, January 2012) that has guided the police in dealing with media.

Beat reporters and their editors recognize the right of the police to withhold “criminal investigative information,” that of “intelligence value,” some of which may be found in spot reports.

Yet an arbitrary ban on releasing spot reports is pointless and unproductive. It may set back police-media relations in this community which have gone well for several years now.

Taken with other developments, such as the restriction on release of crime records to Commission on Human Rights, the ban on spot reports may sharpen public suspicion that the police is not giving the true picture on casualties of the campaign against illegal drugs.

PACHICO A. SEARES
Executive Director
Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC)

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