State-run broadcast firm People’s Television Network (PTV) will have a “complete, secure, and truthful” coverage of the promulgation of the ruling on the 2009 Maguindanao massacre, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar assured.
Andanar gave the assurance after the Supreme Court (SC) announced that PTV will be providing a live feed from inside the Quezon City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 221 on December 19, the day when the final verdict on the decade-long Maguindanao massacre case is expected to be out.
In a statement, the PCOO chief hailed the partnership between the high tribunal and PTV on the coverage of the court proceedings toward the promulgation of the decision on multiple murder case against nearly 200 individuals tagged in the massacre of 58 people in Maguindanao province in 2009.
“The Presidential Communications Operations Office thanks the Supreme Court for granting the request of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security, and other media organizations for the live coverage of the Ampatuan massacre’s promulgation through PTV,” Andanar said.
“As the judgment on this case is of paramount interest to the public and to the media as well, a complete, secure, and truthful coverage of the court decision is imperative. This integrated arrangement will ensure that everyone receives real-time and accurate information as the much-awaited verdict on the infamous event is made,” he added.
Earlier Tuesday, SC spokesperson Bryan Hosaka said the high court allowed the PTV to provide technical support and make the footage available for hook up to other news firms.
Only two cameras manned by PTV will be allowed inside the courtroom. These will be operated under the strict control and supervision by the SC Public Information Office.
One camera will be directed at the judge and the person reading the decision, while another camera will focus on the parties and their counsel.
Andanar assured the public that the PTV would do its best to ensure the successful coverage of the promulgation of the judgment on the Maguindanao massacre.
“As an attached agency to the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), PTV will exert its utmost effort in this live coverage, to be shared to the private media, as part of its dedication to inform the citizenry and serve the interests of our nation, especially on the issue of media killings and security,” he said.
The final ruling on the Maguindanao massacre case was supposed to be released on or before November 20, but the Supreme Court extended it until December 20, following the request of Quezon City RTC Branch 221 Presiding Judge Jocelyn Solis-Reyes for a one-month extension to allow her to look into “voluminous records” of the cases.
A total of 58 people, including 32 journalists and media workers, were on their way to the Commission on Elections’ local office to witness the filing of candidacy of then Buluan vice mayor Esmael Mangudadatu for the 2010 gubernatorial elections when they were flagged down and killed by gunmen in Ampatuan town in Maguindanao on November 23, 2009.
Multiple murder cases were filed against Datu Andal Ampatuan, the principal accused in the case, and 196 co-accused. (PNA)