The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) condemned a police directive withholding spot reports from the media, even as it demanded Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa to revoke the order.
In a statement released on Wednesday, the NUJP pointed out that the order was illegal.
"The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines demands that Philippine National Police chief Ronald dela Rosa immediately rescind what is clearly an illegal order to withhold spot reports from media," the NUJP said.
The media group urged police officers not to follow the said order, saying that a spot report is a public document that should be available to everyone for transparency and accountability.
The police earlier clarified there was nothing new in the order, saying the directive has been in effect for more than three years already, since February 18, 2014.
“Matagal na ho na may policy and hindi ho bagong issue or ano. Nire-reiterate lang ‘yung proper handling ng document especially if there are security classifications,” said PNP spokesperson Dionardo Carlos.
He also said policemen are required to provide press releases to reporters on the cases they are handling.
The NUJP, meanwhile, slammed the idea that press releases be given to journalists instead of the police spot reports.
"Press releases, by their very nature, are sanitized and angled to favor the issuing body and are, thus, not an objective source of information," NUJP said.
"There is absolutely no reason why the agency sworn to 'serve and protect' the people should cloak its operations in secrecy," it added.
The media group also called on its colleagues to "raise our collective voice in condemnation of these blatant efforts to withhold the truth and, if needed, to be ready to seek all legal redress." — Anna Felicia Bajo/MDM/KVD, GMA News