THE head of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) said that while the club supports the call to decriminalize libel, broadcasters should also take a good look at the code of ethics for journalists to find out how they can properly practice their profession.

COPC President Jerry Orcullo gave his reactions to the arrest of a broadcaster in Valencia City.

Rey Cabaraban, a broadcaster at Radyo Juan, was arrested June 9 after Bukidnon Governor Jose Maria Zubiri Jr. sued him for libel.

Orcullo said broadcasters should “avoid foul language” and steer clear of needlessly defaming individuals.

“Broadcasters should not attack people below the belt and use curse words on air,” he said.

Broadcasters who buy block times should also remember not to “commercialize” press freedom, Orcullo said.

Media watchdog Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) defines blocktiming as “the practice of buying ‘blocks’ of air time to produce programs independent of networks and stations.”

The group said the blocktimer then sells the commercial time to sponsors and advertisers and notes that blocktime programs proliferate during elections.

“Never abuse press freedom. It is a constitutional right gained by the blood of our heroes and martyrs,” Orcullo said.

“Do not mock it by selling this sacred right to your sponsors,” he added.

Orcullo said he is calling on the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) to review and enforce its regulations.