MANILA – The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) has forged a closer collaboration with the police and the military, as well as the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), to ensure the safety and security of the Philippine media.

During the Laging Handa Program, PTFoMS executive director Paul Gutierrez said the partnerships with the Philippine National Police (PNP), the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the KBP are part of the Marcos administration’s commitment to provide media workers a safe environment.

“Ang PTFOMS po ay naririto para po kayo ay alalayan na magkaroon po tayo ng safe environment sa paggampan po sa ating trabaho (The PTFoMS is here to assist you and give you a safe environment as you do your job),” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez said the PTFoMs and the PNP have agreed to establish the “Media Security Messaging System” to ensure the immediate and appropriate action to all reported incidents of media threats, harassments and killings.

He added that the PNP has also activated its standard protocol of creating a special investigation task group that will handle cases involving media workers.

Gutierrez noted that the PTFoMS is also working with the AFP to protect the press, especially those who are deployed in “critical areas” where their lives may be put in peril.

He said there is also an agreement with the KBP to create a mechanism aimed at addressing the grievances against members of the press by local officials.

He said the latest move will serve as a deterrent to crimes perpetrated against media workers.

“Para po kumbaga hindi na po lumaki ‘yung gusot, hindi na po lumaki ‘yung misunderstanding nila, hindi na po lumaki ‘yung problema, we thought po na sa pamamagitan po ng dayalogo ay maiiwasan pong mauwi pa sa mas matinding karahasan ito sa ating mga kapatid sa hanapbuhay (To avoid misunderstanding and a bigger problem, we thought holding a dialogue would help avert possible violence against media workers),” Gutierrez said.

Gutierrez also reminded the members of the Philippine media, especially those who are joining politics, to be careful, given their vulnerability to attacks.

Based on the PTFoMS monitoring, there are 195 reported media killings between 1986 and June 2023.

Gutierrez earlier said the number of victims appeared large as it included the 34 journalists who were killed during the 2009 Ampatuan Massacre in Maguindanao.

He noted that a near majority of 57 cases have been established by probers as “not work-related,” while only 28 of the incidents have been confirmed as “work-related.”

He added that suspects in about 51 killing incidents have already been convicted in court.

Gutierrez, who assumed as PTFoMS head on May 25 this year, also noted that all the suspects in the three reported media killings under the Marcos administration have been identified and charged in court. (PNA)