PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte received on Monday, September 18, the Cebu Declaration, which opposes the Philippine National Police (PNP) directive denying media access to police spot reports.

The Cebu Declaration was presented to Duterte on September 18 by journalists from Visayas and Mindanao and representatives from the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-Ifra) and the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (Seapa).

"I read it, I knew about it," Duterte said when informed about the Cebu Declaration.

The President, however, was not clear what his action or response to it.

The Cebu Declaration was made by participants of the seminar on "The Challenge of the New Media Landscape" organized by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) with the support from WAN-Ifra and Acos Alliance in Cebu City last September 13.

The declaration was signed by 19 journalists from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, CMFR, WAN-Ifra and Seapa.

The declaration condemned the act of the police in Central Visayas denying access to media the police spot reports.

The journalists believed that requiring a Freedom of Information request for every spot report in a way violates the principle of

transparency by making it difficult for journalists or the public to obtain information that might have an effect on their safety.

The declaration also calls on the PNP hierarchy to clarify communication lines as contradicting statements from different officers are coming out. (MVG)