MANILA — The Philippine National Police (PNP) said on Tuesday it did not receive any report of election-related incidents involving members of the media was reported during the May 9 polls.
Quoting the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS), the police said other recorded threats, harassment, stabbing, and shooting incidents involving journalists between Feb. 14 and May 16 were not related to their duties during the election period.
"The PNP Public Information Office identified the reported cases as those coming from Regions 5, 8, 10, Cordillera Administrative Region and Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BARMM)," PNP spokesperson Brig. Gen. Roderick Alba said in a statement.
Alba said that the PNP would continue to investigate deeper into these incidents, even though they have not been deemed related to the elections.
“The creation of Media Vanguards within our organization has created a huge impact in safeguarding our media practitioners who took the role of being our information frontliner this election season,” PNP officer-in-charge Lt. Gen. Vicente Danao Jr. said.
Since the launch of the Media Vanguards earlier this year, all police stations and units nationwide have activated their desks to accept media-related complaints, verify, and assist in handling these cases, the PNP said.
Experts say the explosion of social media, which has made it easier to report incidents, and the growing domination of political dynasties, which smother electoral competition, have helped tamp down election violence.
In the country's deadliest single incident of political violence on record, 58 people, including 32 journalists, were massacred in 2009 as gunmen allegedly belonging to a local warlord in Maguindanao province attacked a group of people to stop a rival filing his election candidacy.
For the 2022 polls, some 60,000 police officers were deployed nationwide to ensure security, with the PNP also activating its own vote-buying monitoring team.
The Commission on Elections (Comelec) also launched its own "Task Force Kontra Bigay" to look into vote-buying incidents and received about a thousand complaints.
— With a report from Agence France-Presse