There were no recorded incidents of election-related violence against members of the media during the 2022 national and local elections, the Philippine National Police (PNP) said Tuesday.
Citing information from the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), the PNP said that reported threats, harassment, stabbing, and shooting incidents involving journalists from February 14 to May 16, 2022 “did not reflect motives in relation to their duties during the election period.”
The incidents were reported in Regions 5, 8, and 10, as well as the Cordillera Administrative Region and the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM), the PNP said. It vowed to conduct a deeper investigation of the reports despite not being under the criteria of election-related violence.
PNP Officer-In-Charge Police Lieutenant General Vicente Danao Jr. said the organization’s “Media Vanguards” helped in securing the members of the press.
“The creation of Media Vanguards within our organization has created a huge impact in safeguarding our media practitioners who took the role of being our information frontliner this election season,” he said.
Over 500 PNP public information officers across the country were designated members of the PTFoMS’ Media Vanguards in January to ensure the protection of media workers ahead of Eleksyon 2022.
Under the program, police stations and units nationwide have activated their desks to accept media-related complaints, verify, and assist in handling related cases.
“The offshoot of this initiative can be observed with the strong relationship between the media industry and law enforcers such as the PNP,” Danao said.
“It became a tool for the PNP to reach a wider audience with the premise that these vital information can help in increasing the public's awareness of the developments in this election,” he added.
The Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) previously declared the recently-concluded Eleksyon 2022 as “generally peaceful” even despite several incidents of election-related violence including strafing, explosions, and ballot-snatching on May 9, Election Day. — Sundy Locus and Joviland Rita/BM, GMA News