CEBU CITY – The government, through the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), is working incessantly to make the Philippines safe for media practitioners.
PTFoMS partnered with the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) for the Visayas leg of the 2023 Nationwide Media Summit at Marco Polo Hotel here, with the theme "Promoting a Free Responsible Press Towards a Safer Media Community."
“We are here to not only condemn these acts of violence but to actively forge solutions, strategies, and alliances that will safeguard our journalists and uphold the freedom of the press,” Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla said in his message, read by PTFoMS Executive Director Paul Gutierrez, on Tuesday
Remulla said the shooting of Misamis Occidental radio broadcaster Juan Juamalon inside his home studio on Nov. 5 is a reminder of the dangers faced by media workers daily, thus the “imperative to fortify the mechanisms that protect them.”
“This reprehensible act is not only an assault on an individual but an attack on the very principles of freedom of speech and the right to information that we, as a society, hold dear,” Remulla said.
Presidential Communications Office Secretary Cheloy Garafil, whose message was also read by Gutierrez, said the media summit aims to foster meaningful dialogues, explore ways to fortify protection for media practitioners, promote responsible journalism, and cultivate a culture of respect for press freedom.
“As we embark on this journey to recalibrate the PTFOMS and empower our media professionals, let us remember that our efforts today will shape the future of our nation's media landscape. I am confident that through constructive discussions, shared knowledge, and collaborative efforts, we can work together to build a safer and more responsible media community for all Filipinos,” she said.
She highlighted the “role of a free and responsible press,” citing that active and independent media is the bedrock of any democracy, acting as a vigilant guardian and providing a platform for diverse voices and opinions.
“It is through the diligent and courageous work of journalists that we stay informed, enlightened, and engaged in the affairs of our nation,” she added.
PAO chief Atty. Persida Rueda-Acosta told Cebu media that public attorneys can be active legal advocates for media practitioners who would be facing cases. (PNA)