The Cebu Citizens Press Council (CCPC) has passed a resolution requesting Mandaue City Mayor Luigi Quisumbing to lift a memorandum order that requires all interviews by the press to be directed and handled by the Mandaue City Public Information Office (PIO).
Elias Baquero, Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists (CFBJ) president, presented the resolution during the 45th quarterly meeting of the CCPC at Marcelo V. Fernan Cebu Press Center on Thursday.
The memorandum, issued on August 8, asks Mandaue City Hall’s department heads and employees to refrain from granting media interviews without prior consultation with the Mandaue City Public Information Office (PIO) or with the Office of the Mayor.
“Department heads and employees are enjoined to refrain from accepting media interviews and questions from the press without prior coordination with the Mandaue City PIO or this office,” the memorandum read.
In a statement last August regarding the memorandum, Atty. Elaine Bathan, the mayor’s chief of staff, said that the memorandum “only requires [that] coordination be made with the PIO so that the office can assist them during these interviews.”
Quisumbing emphasized last August that the term used in the memorandum order was “enjoined” as he would like the PIO to be functional.
The council, however, wrote in the resolution that the “result of the MO (Memorandum Order) is far from its declared intent and even negates that intent: since its issuance, most department heads and employees have shunned interviews with reporters, even refusing to answer simple questions about matters of public interest.”
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