PNP: No new directive limiting access to spot reports

Third Anne Peralta-Malonzo

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Wednesday said it has not issued a new directive on barring media access from spot reports.

PNP spokesperson Dionardo Carlos said that they only reiterated the PNP-Media relations policies and manual issued on February 18, 2014.

"The one that we have is February 18, 2014 as guidelines. So we are just reiterating this, kung naging issue man 'yung naging ulat sa (if this has become an issue in) Cebu, well this is what we have. PNP media relations policies and manual," said Carlos in a press briefing.

He said police officers in the precincts have been reminded to review the classification of documents that can be released to the media.

He said they should take into consideration its security classification, if it is forming part in a criminal investigation and if the subjects include minors and women particularly in rape cases.

Documents that are being allowed for media consumption based on the existing PNP-Media relations policies and manual are press releases, news releases and press statements.

Journalists in Cebu earlier urged the PNP to reconsider its order disallowing the release of spot reports in police precincts.

This development came after the Central Visayas police received a memorandum ordering them not to release spot reports to the media.

"No spot report will be released to the media,' read the memorandum sent via text message from the PNP headquarters in Camp Crame.

Carlos clarified that blotter reports can be accessed anytime but the release of spot reports will depend on the public information officer.

"Yes. It (counterchecking) can be done but to give you an actual copy we have to look at our rules, manual and procedures. Kasi 'yung getting a copy of the spot report hindi automatic na may kopya kayo," he added.

He said that if the requesting party insists on accessing the spot report, he needs a court order or a permit from concerned PNP office.

"The FOI (freedom of information), we address it by your request. Hindi ilalantaran at kukunin kaagad without the proper authority in releasing these documents," he said.

Carlos said another way of getting information from the spot report is to interview the police investigator on the case or its designated spokesperson. (SunStar Philippines)