MANILA - The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Tuesday hit back at Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa after he slammed the media for allegedly nitpicking cops' errors in anti-crime operations.
In a statement, the NUJP said the Philippine National Police (PNP) should be more concerned with law enforcers who violate the law rather than the agency's reputation.
"But when those sworn to uphold the law and protect the people violate those laws and harm the people, shouldn’t you be more alarmed, angered even, about such abominations than what these could do to the image of the service, which incidentally can be repaired, but only if you seriously address these problems with thorough reforms?" the statement read.
"Once the PNP begins truly 'To Serve and to Protect,' we assure you, you need not worry about media dishing out bad news about you. Because then, there would be no bad news to report," it continued.
NUJP added that it is the PNP itself, and not the media, that is responsible for the bad reputation it got over the killings of teenagers under the administration's drug war.
"Sir, what about your service’s motto, 'To Serve and to Protect,' do you not get? One would think it is self-explanatory. Why then do you blame media for the bad rep the Philippine National Police has been getting over its members’ killing of young men, which even your own investigators...seriously suspect did not die in shootouts but were summarily executed, in violation of your motto and the laws of the land?" the group said.
"You insinuate that media are to blame for the wholesale relief and retraining of Caloocan’s police force. Why, did media order their relief and retraining?" it added.
Dela Rosa on Monday slammed the media for highlighting what he calls as "small errors" committed by cops and failing to report on the dangers faced by police in anti-drug operations.
He compared the amount of media coverage on the death of Kian delos Santos to that of PO1 Ronald Anicete who was stabbed by a drug suspect.
NUJP said Anicete's bravery was part of his sworn duty and the media reported it.
"While it is unfortunate that PO1 Anicete was wounded in the performance of his sworn duty, surely even you would agree that you and everyone who enlists in the state’s security forces willingly acknowledges injury or worse as part of the risks of the job. And for being true to his oath of duty, he was deservingly awarded, a fact media reported, unless you failed to, or refused to, realize this," it said.
The killing of teenagers of Delos Santos, Carl Arnaiz and Reynaldo "Kulot" De Guzman all allegedly involved police, sparking a public outrage over drug war killings.
These incidents, including an alleged drug raid that turned into a robbery, prompted the relief of the policemen in Caloocan City.