Broadcaster draws ire of CSWD

THE City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWD) chastised a local broadcaster for supposedly insisting that a rape victim, who is a minor, narrate her ordeal on-air.

In a letter sent to Magnum Radyo, City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a identified the broadcaster as Manny Agustero who interviewed a nine-year-old who was allegedly abducted and raped by two unidentified men.

In the live interview, Agustero allegedly forced the minor to answer his questions regarding the circumstances of the incident.

Sabuga-a said the interview alarmed the CSWD, the general public, and some other city officials who informed the CSWD about the “insensitive” interview.

He said even if the intention of the anchor was to secure information, the law sets limit in terms of how to handle cases involving minors.

Republic Act 7610, otherwise known as Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, sets boundaries on how children must be treated for their protection.

Agustero, the CSWD said, violated the Confidentiality Provision Act which states that it shall be unlawful for a publisher, editor, reporter or columnist, announcer or producer to cause undue and sensationalized publicity which may result in the moral degradation and suffering of the offended party.

Sabuga-a said by forcing a minor to recall the factual events of the crime committed against her, the child may have been forced to undergo re-victimization, a condition that can cause double trauma to the victim.

"In fact, experts sanctioned by law such as psychologists and social workers are very careful in handling this kind of case," he said.

Sabuga-a said CSWD strongly condemns what it called the unprofessional conduct of the broadcaster.

"We would like to remind the Magnum Radio Station to observe the strict provisions of the law in this matter in the future," he said.

Sabuga-a warned not only Magnum Radio but all radio stations to exercise caution in dealing with minors otherwise they will be forced to take appropriate actions against the violators.

Sabuga-a also plans to conduct a seminar on responsible child cases reporting with the members of the media to prevent the occurrence of a similar case in the future.


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