After the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) was denied access to case folders of the Philippine National Police, all police stations in the country were also barred from releasing the said documents, spot reports and journals to media.
Bohol Provincial Police Office (BPPO) director Sr. Supt. Felipe Natividad told DYRD Balita that the new policy was implemented starting yesterday.
Natividad said the order was directly issued by Camp Crame to all police offices across the country but did not elaborate on the reason behind the new directive.
“You check on the blotter pero hindi pwede i-Xerox, you can read and jot down notes,” Natividad said. “Pero yung mga journal, case folders, spot reports pinagbawalan na tayo dun.”
“Yun ang binigay na policy, syempre we have to follow,” he added.
In spot reports, detailed information including leads and names of police and investigators involved in the operation and other pertinent details are noted.
“Yung spot reports, initial pa yan, open pa yan. With unnecessary disclosure, it may compromise the course of our investigation or follow-up operation,” Natividad said.
Meanwhile, press releases on certain cases may also be issued by the police, while media personnel can still interview police operatives, the BPPO director added.
Media groups have cried foul over the new policy while several government officials including Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III have denounced it.
“That’s a public document. It should be accessible to anyone, and it’s supposed to be open for the media because they’re the ones who are to report these crimes to the public,” said Davide as quoted by the Cebu Daily News. (Rey Tutas)