Police visit newspaper office in Bacolod to ask for favorable coverage

BACOLOD CITY, Philippines – The Philippine National Police (PNP) is employing the door-to-door approach beyond its campaign against drugs. It's knocking on the doors of media offices to ask for favorable coverage. 

On Wednesday, October 3, a team from the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office visited the newsroom of SunStar Bacolod, part of a chain of newspapers that has a presence in key cities nationwide.

The police told newspaper staffers they were visiting "to forge a partnership."

When the police team arrived at SunStar Bacolod's office in Lopue’s Mandalagan annex building, they reportedly said they were proposing a partnership for the press to write about their good deeds since the media reports about the police were supposedly always negative.

The police said they would send a formal letter to the newspaper outlet as soon as their police director signs it. 

The staff also said the police told them it was going to be a campaign of the PNP to do “door-to-door” visits of media outlets, though it would still be up to the editors to accommodate their proposal.

Upon verification, SunStar Bacolod found out the directive to visit media outlets came from the PNP national headquarters.

SunStar Bacolod editor-in-chief Marchel Espina, who was not around during the visit, was concerned by the move of the police.

“We’re doing our jobs. We are balanced in our reporting,” she stressed, adding that the visitation was “bordering on intimidation.”

She said: “The country has more problems right now, like drugs and unresolved killings, and yet, it seemed, they (police) prioritize their image over these.” – Rappler.com