MANILA -- Cebu Representative Gabriel Luis Quisumbing filed a proposed measure Tuesday that will disallow media in detailing police and military movements in crisis situations.

This is in the wake of the bloody hostage drama Monday night that killed eight Hong Kong nationals and the hostage taker disgruntled cop Ronaldo Mendoza.

Quisumbing said the blow-by-blow coverage done by media outfits “may have jeopardized police operations onsite” after they reported the “position, movement and actions of the enforcers and authorities”.

The lawmaker identified the following as crisis situations: hostage taking, bomb threats, coup d’ etat, and kidnapping.

He said there have been attempts to restrain or even prohibit the flow of information through news blackouts, citing cases such as the Abu Sayyaf kidnappings, the coup d’ etats during former President Corazon Aquino rule, the Oakwood mutiny in 2003 and the Manila Peninsula siege three years ago.

“The author recognizes media’s right to have access to information and the freedom of the press. Nonetheless, such press freedom should be harmonized with the public welfare and measures to avoid further endangering lives in crisis situations...,” he added.

Earlier, President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III said that the continued coverage of the hostage incident has “severely hampered” the rescue operations.

Quisumbing said that media should be given limited access to information when a crisis is still in effect while directing the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police to provide “full details of the operation” once the situation has been resolved.

Under the bill, violators will be penalized either through six months and one day to six years imprisonment or pay a fine of P20,000 or both. (Virgil Lopez/Sunnex)