The Daily Manila Shimbun


PNP says reporters cannot get copies of police spot reports

September 13, 2017

The Philippine National Police (PNP) said reporters cannot just get copies of spot reports of incidents from its police stations, its spokesman said Wednesday.

"On your questions about the spot report, if it's part of an ongoing criminal investigation, this should not be released ( to media)," said Chief Superintendent  Dionardo Carlos in a press conference.

"This has been a policy for a long time," said Carlos.

Carlos said "there is no barring you or the media to the document." "All you have to do is make the request which is what we are doing with the Freedom of Information. We have no problems on transparency or accessibility. All we have to do is follow the procedure," he said.

Carlos said it will depend on the "head of office, or duly representative, or public information officer to determine the release of information if this will not affect ongoing investigation."

Carlos reminded police there is a PNP media relations manual. "And part of that PNP media relations manual is a memo on the reiteration of police policies relative to criminal investigations and media relations," he said.

Carlos said the PNP has noticed that since social media is actively used, "our personnel (must) be careful in posting photographed copy of documents, classified documents." He said these should not be posted in social media.

Carlos said the police "have been very accommodating" in relations with reporters. "Let us say some are bit lazy when in fact the details of the spot report is included or placed in the press release or news releases," he added.

"Let us admit that some (reporters) do not want to compose ( stories) or PR. So (they ask), sir, please take a picture on ( your cellphone). Because of good relations, rapport has been established with the agreement that it is only for reference purposes. You are not supposed to post it in social media or elsewhere."

Cebu reporters were angry after copies of the police report were denied them by the police, news reports said.

Carlos said what is given to reporters are press statements and statements.

Reporters can still see a copy of the police report "but to give you an actual copy, we have to look at our rules, manual and procedures. Getting a copy of the spot report, it's not automatic you can get one."

Reporters can still interview the chief of police, said Carlos. "It is his responsibility to inform the public to to inform the public through you." DMS