President Rodrigo Duterte has lauded the Presidential Task Force on Media Security’s (PTFoMS) efforts in protecting the media workers’ welfare by upholding press freedom in the country.
In his message for the 5th founding anniversary of the PTFoMS, Duterte expressed hope that the agency would continue to fulfill its mandate with “utmost excellence and commitment”.
“My warmest greetings to the men and women of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) as you celebrate its 5th anniversary. The task force plays a crucial role in safeguarding press freedom that is vital in a nation’s vibrant democracy,” Duterte said.
Duterte also expressed appreciation for the PTFoMS’ resolve to protect the life, liberty, and security of the Philippine media.
“It also helps ensure that the rights and welfare of the press are well protected and upheld,” he said.
On Oct. 11, 2016, Duterte created PTFoMS by virtue of Administrative Order No. 1 to ensure that media workers will enjoy a safe environment under his watch.
PTFoMS is headed by the Department of Justice and co-chaired by the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO). Its members include the Department of National Defense, the Department of the Interior and Local Government, Office of the Solicitor General, Presidential Human Rights Committee, Armed Forces of the Philippines, Philippine National Police, and National Bureau of Investigation.
At least 51 of 187 cases of media killings in the country monitored by PTFoMS have resulted in a guilty verdict, bringing to 68 the total number of media killers that were convicted by the courts.
On the other hand, 56 cases were regarded as “closed” for various reasons.
PTFoMS also oversaw the filing of cases in court against perpetrators of media violence, arrested nine suspects, and investigated seven killings.
It also looked into and helped resolve a total of 80 cases involving media practitioners who were unduly threatened. (PNA)