MANILA -- A total of 353 prosecutors in different parts of the country have been appointed to lead the investigation of media-related cases being handled by the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS).
Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary and PTFoMS chairman Menardo Guevarra issued a department order on Aug. 28, directing the 353 prosecutors to become concurrent prosecutors under Administrative Order No. 01 (AO1) that created PTFoMS.
The prosecutors had been previously designated to investigate cases assigned to the Inter-Agency Committee on Extra-Legal Killings, Enforced Disappearances, Torture and other Grave Violations of the Right to Life, Liberty and Security of Persons, which, former President Benigno Aquino III created by virtue of AO No. 35 in 2012.
Under their new assignment, the 353 prosecutors will spearhead the Special Investigation Task Groups (SITGs) tasked through AO1, which President Rodrigo R. Duterte issued in October 2016 in a bid to solve media killings in the country.
Guevarra said the appointment of the 353 prosecutors serves as another solid manifestation of the Duterte administration’s commitment to bring the perpetrators of media violence to justice.
“We will bring our enemies to justice, or we will bring justice to our enemies; either way, justice will be served,” Guevarra said.
The PTFoMS, under the supervision of its executive director, Undersecretary Joel Egco, has been conducting seminars on AO1 and the task force’s functions in different regions of the country.
Aside from prosecutors, Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation and media practitioners have attended the previous PTFoMS seminars.
Egco, a media practitioner, has promised to leave no stone unturned in going after perpetrators of the media-related cases. (PNA)