CAMP FLORENDO - Thirty police commissioned officers from the various offices of Police Regional Office (PRO) 1 participated in the one-day media relations seminar held at the Masigasig Center here July 23.

The seminar participants were given instructions on basic news writing and preparation of press releases, handling media interviews, and conducting press conferences and media briefings.

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Media practitioners acted as resource persons, include Jennilyne Role, deputy regional director of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) regional office 1; Miriam Aquino, also of the PIA; Yolanda Fuertes of the Philippine Daily Inquirer; Liway Yparraguirre of Sun.Star Pangasinan; Charity Frianeza, a veteran broadcaster; and Gualberto Elias of the Philippine Star who is also the president of the PRO1 Press Corps.

As part of the activity, the police officers participated in practical exercises simulating media interviews and press conferences.

An open forum ensued where both participants and resource persons had a free-wheeling discussion and exchange of ideas and suggestions on how to improve relations between the police and the media.

The undertaking provided an opportunity for the participants to learn practical tips to manage and disseminate information.

The participants also received step-by-step direction on how to effectively handle unexpected interviews and news conferences, at crime scenes and in crisis situations.

PRO1 deputy for operations Roman A. Felix represented PRO1 Regional Director Orlando M. Magbutas during the seminar's closing ceremony, where he read the latter's prepared message.

"I am confident that through this activity, we, the police and the media, have established a measure of trust to better address imminent or clear present danger to the lives of our media practitioners. We really have to join forces to effectively counter the occupational hazards that usually transform into harassment, threats, and other grave measures to silence you," Mabutas said in his message.

"I would like to believe that through this undertaking we have taken a critical step in confidence and capacity-building necessary to further improve relations between the PNP and media. Sana ay ipagpatuloy natin ang magandang nasimulan, at lalo pa nating pagyamanin ang magandang samahan. Sa ating mga katuwang sa media, makakaasa kayo na ang inyong kapulisan ay laging nakalaang maglingkod para sa inyong kaligtasan," he added.