The Pampanga Press Club is issuing this counter caution to Angeles City Councilor Edgardo Pamintuan, Jr. for his apparent lack of understanding on the role of media in helping ensure free flow of information especially towards governance and public interests.
While media has no right to meddle in the affairs of the City Council and its members, it has, however, a duty to report to the public on developments at the August body and other offices, especially those in government.
PPC President Deng Pangilinan said that it is the duty of media to report on various issues and concerns.
“Media does not and will never act as a judge or even discern who or what party is right or wrong, especially in reporting facts from news sources in straight news articles,” Pangilinan said.
“Ano man po ang usapan o maging away ng mga konsehal sa bawat isa, wala po kaming pakialam sa mga iyon. An gaming layunin at misyon ay ang mailathala ang mga pangyayari sa konseho,” he added.
“The role to execute judgment and form interpretation and opinion rests on the general public,” he furthered.
The PPC reminded the councilor that for initiatives made in the City Council, it is incumbent upon media to accommodate press releases whether from the majority, minority and even independent councilors.
Cautioning the media against publishing any is deemed as overstepping the bounds of the role of a councilor and thus is tantamount to curtailment of freedom of the press.
For her part, Tonette Orejas, PPC Vice President for Broadcast, said that Pamintuan’s statement about media is a “misplaced reminder.”
“The Councilor’s statement boils down to responsible journalism which many in the PPC practice. It was a misplaced reminder to media, like telling saints to be kind,” Orejas said.
“The friction between Councilors Lazatin and Pamintuan is theirs. If we cover and report on it, we in the PPC care to center on public interests. Journalists are not politicians or politicians’ allies,” she added.