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No more media shaming: PNP to respect rights of criminal suspects

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MANILA — A 10-year old rule disallowing the presentation of suspects to media will be implemented effective immediately, police officials said Wednesday.

Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Police Director General Oscar Albayalde admitted that he has no idea why such rule which was stated in a 2008 memorandum was not followed but said that they are now reinstating its implementation.

“I can recall now na nangyari yan noon (that happened before) when the memorandum came out, when the policy came out, talagang in-implement yan (It was really implemented). I don’t know, I really don’t know when it came back, so we went back to our documents, lumabas nga yon (It came out). So now, we’re trying to, we will implement it again, our policy way back 2008,” Albayalde said.

While the rule prohibits presenting suspects openly, it allows public disclosure of suspects’ mug shots when booked or photos of the so-called “perp walk” while they are processed by PNP as well as the details of their arrest.

Albayalde said it is in the public’s interest to see arrested suspects but said the memorandum will cover suspects regardless of the crime they have committed.

“It will apply to all, whether maliit, malaki (small or big), but we will assure the public that we will inform the public. At least mapakita yung mukha sa publiko (we can show their faces to the public) so that sabi ko nga kung meron pang nabiktima yung publiko at gusto nilang makapag-file ng (as I’ve said, if any member of the public was victimized and he or she wants to file a) complaint, they can do so,” Albayalde said. (PNA)