“We maintain that our members have been responsible and balanced in reporting the matter.”
This was part of the statement of the Philippine National Police Press Corps to PNP officer-in-charge Police Lieutenant General Vicente Danao Jr. after the latter refused to grant some of their members an interview last Monday, June 20.
Several journalists posted this statement online on Tuesday, June 21.
— Mark Makalalad (@MMakalalad) June 21, 2022
The PNP Press Corps was referring to the backlash the PNP received after the driver of the SUV who was tagged in a hit-and-run incident in Mandaluyong City surrendered to the police last week.
The PNP allowed the hit-and-run suspect Jose Antonio Sanvicente and his parents to hold a press conference a following his surrender on June 15.
Such a press conference, normally not granted to other suspects, received widespread criticisms on social media.
The PNP Press Corps said that its coverage of the incident has been “balanced.”
“In the case of the surrender of the SUV driver—if indeed this is the reason—we maintain that our members have been responsible and balanced in reporting the matter,” the group said.
“We encourage PLTGEN Danao to review our reports that were printed, aired and posted online for his guidance and enlightenment,” they added.
The PNP Press Corps also alleged that acting PNP chief said “unpleasant remarks” to some of its members who were only requesting to interview him at Camp Crame in Quezon City last Monday.
“As reported by some of our members, PLTGEN Danao uttered unpleasant remarks as he refused to be interviewed,” the group said.
“We, the PNP Press Corps, do not fully understand where PLTGEN Danao’s apparent enmity towards us is coming from but we have reasons to believe that it has something to do with the social media backlash on the recent surrender of an SUV driver tagged in the viral hit-and-run incident in Mandaluyong City,” they added.
The journalists pointed out that both parties, the press corps and the PNP, showed “mutual respect and professionalism” to one another.
This relationship is “anchored on the recognition of each organization’s role and obligation to the Filipino people.”
The group then hoped that Danao and the PNP will maintain this mutual respect to their members.
“Nevertheless, we appreciate the effort of PLTGEN Danao to reach out to us to clarify and settle the issue, the same way we fully understand his decision to beg off any media interview,” the press corps said.
Neither the PNP nor Danao has yet to respond to this.
Last June 6, a security guard named Christian Joseph Floralde was rammed over by the vehicle of Sanvicente while he was trying to direct traffic at the intersection of Julia Vargas Avenue and St. Francis Street in Mandaluyong.
This incident was caught in a video. This footage later made rounds across different platforms.