PTFoMS brings media security awareness to grassroots level

By Jelly Musico

March 12, 2018, 10:41 am

<p><strong></strong>Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Usec. Joel Egco <em>(Screengrab from RTVM)</em></p>

Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) Executive Director Usec. Joel Egco (Screengrab from RTVM)

MANILA -- The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) has enhanced its media security awareness program following the launching of its grassroots seminar in Mabitac, Laguna last March 8.

During the seminar, resource speakers from different government agencies discussed the intensified campaign by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte against media killings.

Duterte had shown his strong commitment to solve the media killings by signing his first Administrative Order (AO No. 1) that created the PTFoMS on October 11, 2016.

In his opening remarks, PTFoMS Executive Director Joel Egco explained the creation of the Task Force, citing its significant accomplishments and enumerating future plans that would remove the Philippines from the list of countries tagged as dangerous for journalists.

Legal consultant Jay C. De Castro gave a comprehensive discourse while Chief of Staff Abraham Agamata delivered an incisive overview on the operational guidelines of AO No. 1.

On the other hand, PTFoMS chief investigator (Ret) Col. Rechie Duldulao presented the Task Force’s protocols that haven been formulated through a series of meetings attended by government officials and media observers.

During PTFoMS protocol meetings, representatives from Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, National Press Club, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Philippine Press Institute, Public Association of the Philippines Inc., and Office of the Ombudsman were also present.

In a previous interview with PNA, Egco said the Duterte administration intends to remove the country from the most dangerous list by 2020.

Since the PTFoMS' creation, Egco said all five cases of media killings have been solved with two of them “not work-related but due to other reasons.” He was referring to the cases of Larry Que and Chris Lozada.

According to the International Federation of Journalists' (IFJ) latest report on media killings, Egco said the Philippines dropped from fourth to sixth place.

“Eventually, we are going to ask international watchdogs to remove us from the list,” he said. (PNA)