MANILA – The Presidential Task force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Tuesday (Sept. 19) conducted a whole-day NCR (National Capital Region) Segment of Nationwide Media Summit with the theme: “Promoting A Free and Responsible Press Towards A Safer Media Community” at the Bayview Park Hotel in this city.

The Summit Leg in Cebu City, Davao City, Tagaytay City and Baguio City will be slated next time.

DOJ Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla is the Chairman of the PTFoMS.

Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) Chief Dr. Persida Rueda-Acosta said that 2,505 PAO lawyers are ready to help the members of the media.

PTFoMS Executive Director Paul Gutierrez read the speech of Remulla.

Atty. Yu Jairo Go, PTFoMS Chief of Staff explained that Administrative Order No. 1 Series of 2016 was rooted from Executive Order No. 35 which created the Task Force on Forced Disappearances.
Presidential Communications Office (PCO) Secretary Cheloy Garafil Co-Chairs the PTFoMS with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of National Defense (DND), Philippine National Police (PNP), and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as members.

Atty. Go noted that legitimately engaged media are protected by the PTFoMS, especially in times of harassment or violence-related in the performance of their work.

The PTFoMS Chief of Staff cited the for an instance the case of Crescenciano Bundukin.

Go stressed that during the time of President Ferdinand “Bongbong” R. Marcos, Jr., the case of the killings of three members of the media have been solved.

The PTFoMS is in constant coordination with the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) in relation to the government’s peace endeavors.

It is also Engaged in more stakeholders in ensuring the protection of journalists.
Go pointed out that the PTFoMS has the special collaboration with United Nations Special Rapporteur Irene Khan.

The PTFoMS made a call to action to members of the media to make a safer media community.

Likewise, the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 was tackled pertaining to the offenses against confidentiality on integrity or availability such as illegal access, illegal interception and data interference, system interference, misuse of devices including the introduction or transmission of viruses.

Cybersquatting on domain registration other than the registered owner. Computer-related forgery or fraud for the purpose of fraudulent design.
Computer-related content such as pornography or child pornography with penalty of one degree higher, identity theft. Unsolicited commercial communication or SPAM, the commercial electronic communication.

Cyberlibel where the only difference from that of libel is the use of electronic means with one-year prescriptive period and the offense is one-degree higher. Cybersex P10,000 bail per count in ordinary libel and P20,000 bail per count in cyberlibel and can be held into account in 15 years.

The NBI and the PNP will implement the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
The PAO Chief was given the certificate of recognition for the PAO’s generous support to the PTFoMS in ensuring the safety and security of the members of the media.

She was the first to sign on the Commitment Wall which states: “We vow to promote a free but responsible press towards a safer media community.”

Manila Times Chairman and Chief Executive Office Dante Francis “Klink” Ang II said that civil case relies on preponderance of evidence and criminal case is proven beyond reasonable doubt.

Ang lectured on Basic Guidelines on Journalism such as Ethics which is the “fidelity for truth\in getting the facts. The openness to be fair. We have pro, anti and in-between.”

He cited for an instance the case of an attempted bribery in some reporters and he let them go.

“We have to remember and be faithful to these values. Ethics and values are still relevant to this age of currency,” Ang said.

For newspapers and other media, Ang said, “We are as good as the news for today, and we have to come up with other things in the future.”

Ang highlighted the importance of the trust of the readers of newspapers.

“Anything that we can do, including the benefits of the employees. The right pay for the right story,” Ang assured.

“We want to create an environment that is friendly to all media,” Ang added.
“We want our reporters to work in the office, day in and day out, and not hobble in detention,” Ang stressed on providing legal protection to reporters.

Gutierrez said that the MOA (Memorandum of Agreement) with PAO providing for free legal assistance to journalists is valid during the six-year term (2022-2028) of President Marcos.

He added that the MOA with the TESDA (Technical Educational and Skills Development Authority) is now existing for six years, but upto now, nobody has yet to avail of free scholarship for two courses for two children of media practitioners.

On the Senate hearing on Media Welfare Act, Gutierrez said “Basically, magkakaroon ng basic pay at hazard pay.

The PTFoMS executive was wondering why he was not invited in the second hearing of the Senate on the matter.

“12 to 14 hours po ang talagang haba ng oras ng trabaho. Hindi pwedeng 5 p.m. out na. Paano kapag may pumutok na balita,” Gutierrez said. – By Perfecto T. Raymundo, Jr.