MAGANES:   Hail to the Presidential Task Force on Media Security!

October 16, 2017 at 9:13 pm Leave a comment


Tvirhe Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) has already reached its one year operations. Created by Administrative Order No. 1, series of 2016 on October 11, 2016 by President Rodrigo R. Duterte, PTFoMS is mandated to look into the violations of the right to life, liberty and security of the members of the media, and to ensure a safe environment for them.

The PTFoMS is chaired by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, co-chaired by Communications Secretary Martin Andanar with the following members: Secretary of the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Secretary of Department of National Defense (DND), Solicitor General, Executive Director of Presidential Human Rights Committee, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Director General of the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the Director of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI). Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco serves as the Executive Director.

Members of the media who helped in crafting the administrative order are not members of the PTFoMS but will be tapped as resource persons. These include the President of the National Press Club (NPC), President of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), President of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), President of the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI), and the Chairperson-President of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI).

In celebrating its first anniversary, PTFoMS held a simple program at the Plaridel Hall of the National Press Club’s Building last October 11. Justice Secretary Aguirre, Communications Secretary Andanar, Police Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, also the spokesperson of Philippine National Police, and officers of KBP, NUJP, PAPI, PPI, NPC graced the event. Media organizations in Metro Manila and nearby provinces composed the bulk of the crowd including the families of slain media practitioners and some survivors of gun shooting. The event served also as a reunion of the members of the media industry.

Undersecretary Egco invited me as one of the speakers during the event representing the media members who were assisted by the PTFoMS on their cases. I will not dwell on the messages of Egco, Aguirre and Andanar here as they were part of the news story printed in this paper. However, allow me to share with you the contents of my message during the said event.

“ Sabi ni Dr. Jose Rizal, the pen is mightier than the sword- ang pluma ay mas matalim kaysa sa isang espada. Tama yan noong kapanahunan nila. Pero ngayon, ang pluma ay nagiging mapurol dahil ang tapang ay napalitan ng pagkatakot ng mga mamamahayag para sa mga katotohanan.

Hindi ko naisip na balang araw, ako ay magiging biktima ng isang karahasan. Sa 20 taon ko sa larangan ng pamamahayag, hindi ko makakalimutan ang araw ng Nobyembre 8, noong ako ay sinundan ng riding in tandem sa pagpunta ko sa aming bayan upang patungo sa Dagupan City kung saan mayroon akong programa sa DWPR. Mga alas 5:30 ng umaga ng mangyari iyon. Wala sa isip ko ang pangamba. Sa sinakyan kong tricycle, nakarining ako ng tatlong putok sa likuran. Hindi ko inalintana na ako ang target, hanggang sumadsad ang tricycle at lumapit ang gunmen sakay sa motorsiklo. Pumailanlang ang isang putok at natamaan ang kanang bahagi ng aking katawan, malapit sa kilikili. Nagkunwari akong patay hanggang nakita ko na paalis na ang motorsiklo.

Bumaba ako sa tricycle. Naghintay ng sasakyan upang ako ay dalhin sa ospital pero wala man lang tumigil. May lumapit sa akin na isang tricycle driver at tinulungan ako na pumunta sa ospital kung saan nilapatan ng lunas ang sugat ko . Sa ospital, nalaman ko na lamang na may cardboard na inilagay sa loob ng tricycle na ganito ang nakasulat- “Wag akong tularan, drug posher ako”. Nakakikilabot. Ako na isang mamamahayag na pagbintangan na isang drug pusher. Kung sakaling nagtagumpay sila, isa ako sa statistics na namatay dahil sa laban sa ilegal na droga.

Napipi ang mga kasamahan ko sa media. Lima lang ang bumisita sa akin, mga malalapit kong kaibigan. Nawala na yong mga tumatawag sa akin ng “bok”, friend’ kaibigan, kakosa. Lahat sila ay naglaho. Ako’y nagpapasalamat sa NUJP, KBP at NPC dahil sila ang mga unang nagkondena sa nangyari sa akin. Wala man lang akong narinig mula sa Pangasinan Press and Radio Club.

Alas 5:00 ng hapon noong Nobyembre 8, may dumating na maliit na lalaki, maputi at manipis ang buhok sa ulo (tawanan ng audience) at ipinakilala niya ang sarili na si Joel Sy Egco. Sinabi niya na inutusan siya ni Secretary Andanar upang tingnan ang aking kalagayan. Sabi pa niya siya ay galing sa Presidential Task Force on Media Security. Kasama niya ang PNP Regional Director ng Region 1, Provincial Director, Commanding Officer ng PPSC at hepe ng pulisya ng Villasis. Doon mismo sa aking kuwarto sinabihan niya ang mga opisyal ng PNP na huwag akong pababayaan at pabilisin ang imbestigasyon. Mula noon, ako ay nakaangkla sa PTFoMS hanggang sa ngayon. Nahuli na ang suspect ngunit hindi pa ang mga nasa likuran nito. Magkakaroon na ng pandinig sa husgado. Palakpakan natin ang PNP dahil sa mabilis nilang aksyon.

Maraming salamat Secretary Aguirre, Secretary Andanar, Undersecretary Sy Egco at Pangulong Duterte sa tulong ng PTFoMS.

Isa sa mahirap ay ang pagbibigay ng seguridad ng PNP. Bigla na lang irecall ang mga police security. Pagkatapos niyan, magrequest uli. Sasabihin nila na mag-request ako kay General Dela Rosa para sa Police Security at Protective Group. Sa mga police security naman,sinasabihan sila ng kanilang pinuno na ang CIP at CDP nila ay kukunin sa akin dahil ako ay isang VIP. Mahihirap ang mga nasa media liban na lang kung kurap ka. Dapat palitan na rin ng PNP ang Memorandum Circular 2009-09 sa pagbibigay ng seguridad sa VIP. Iba sana ang para sa mga kasapi ng media.

Ang pinakamahirap sa biktimang tulad ko ay ang trauma. Pabalikbalik ang mga pangyayari sa loob ng anim na buwan. Hindi ka makatulog. Ang aking pamilya ang naging suporta ko at mga mangilanngilan na kaibigan sa media. Hindi naging balakid ang nangyari sa akin. Ako’y lalong tumapang upang ipahayag ang kabulukan sa ating lipunan.

May protector na tayo sa pamamagitan ng PTFoMS. Sa panahong ito na ang Pangulong Duterte ay nakikipaglaban sa ilegal na droga, kurapsyon at iba pang kriminalidad, mas kinakailangan niya ang mga mamamahayag. Hindi dapat busalan ang ating mga bibig, bagkus tayo ay kumilos. Sa mga kasamahan kung mamamahayag, tayo ay mag-isip. Kung walang kikilos, sino? Magandang hapon po.”

(For comments and suggestions, email me at emperorvirgil@yahoo.com or at virgilmaganes42@gmail.com. Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at www.virgilmaganes.wordpress.com. Read the online edition of Northern Watch at www.northwatch.wordpress.com)

Media security task force marks 1st anniversary

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) celebrated its 1st anniversary last October 11 at the Plaridel Hall of National Press Club (NPC) in Intramuros, Manila, which was attended by various media organizations from the Metro Manila and nearby provinces.

PTFoS Chairman Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Co-Chairman Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, Police Chief Superintendent Dionardo Carlos, spokesperson of Philippine National Police, and Executive Director and Undersecretary Joel Sy Egco led the celebration with the theme “ Justice, Liberty and Media Security.”

In his message during the program, Egco recalled how the task force was created through the help of Secretary Andanar and members of the media group like National Press Club (NPC), National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP), Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI), Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), and Philippine Press Institute (PPI).

“ It was my long advocacy to have this task force to help our colleagues in the media who are victims of violence, harassment and all forms of threat. Thanks to President Duterte for issuing Administrative Order No. 1 on October 11, 2016 that created the task force. We have started from scratch with no office to call our own. However, my staff and I have to do our mandated task to help our media friends,” Egco said who was also a past president of NPC.

Egco also cited the media victims whom the PTFoMs has assisted like Virgilio Maganes of Pangasinan who survived a shooting incident, the families of Larry Que of Catanduanes and Leonardo Diaz of Sultan Kudarat, and some other media practitioners who were victims of threat like Joseph Morong of GMA 7.

He said the task force will live up to the expectations of the members of the media industry that it will continue to fulfill its mandate of protecting media practitioners.

Andanar lauded the issuance of the Administrative Order creating the PTFoMS describing it as the first under the Duterte administration that installed the required system for the security network.

“ We have today a president of words. His salacious remarks set a new rhythm in the life of the nation. But he is a president who thinks for the welfare of the media practitioners in the country. Can we prevent physical harassment? Can we cross the line of hatred? Of course we can and we must,” Andanar said.

Andanar also announced the creation of the “Duterte Medical Fund for the Media” to help members of the press with their medical needs.

He said that he recently signed an agreement with the MVP Group of Companies headed by businessman Manny V. Pangilinan who owns some of the country’s best hospitals and medical facilities in the country.

Aguirre assured the members of the press on the continuing assistance of the justice department for their legal needs.

“ President Duterte has all in his mind for your welfare. He created the PTFoMS to protect media practitioners in the country from current cases and also those that have not been resolved in the past. PTFoMS Undersecretary Egco is now working on all these cases,” Aguirre said.

Through a media presentation, PTFoMS staff Aristoteles Estrella shared the successes of the task force in assisting media victims with the help of the member agencies and media organizations.

Media men who survived shooting incidents as well as the families of slain media men also attended the event.

Entry filed under: News.

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