(POLITIKO) Senator Jinggoy Estrada denounced Sunday (October 16) the unannounced visits made by policemen in Metro Manila to the homes of some journalists, calling it “the most stupid idea.”
In a statement, Estrada said the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) should explain why the police who visited journalists’ homes weren’t in proper uniform.
“Why was there no coordination with the local officials and media company/outlet with which the concerned journalist is affiliated? And the most glaring of all, how could they get hold of very personal and sensitive information such as a home address of a journalist?” he asked.
The NCRPO drew flak after GMA Network reporter JP Soriano revealed that he was visited at his home by someone who introduced himself as a police officer in civilian clothing.
Soriano said he was asked by the policeman if he received any threat following the killing of radio broadcaster Percy Lapid. He was also asked for a photo for documentation, but he refused.
NCRPO chief Police Brigadier General Jonnel Estomo confirmed a directive for the police to reach out to journalists to check for threats, but he ordered it to be stopped over privacy concerns.
Estrada said that while there was “sense” in the PNP’s move, “the execution is rather contemptible.”
“It’s the most stupid idea, I must say. Kung gusto nilang alamin kung sino ang mga may pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga journalists, hindi ba dapat na una nila itong inalam sa mga news organization na kinabibilangan ng mga mamahayag?” he said.
Estrada said the PNP should carry out their duties in accordance with the law, not against it.