By Gabriel S. Mabutas | Manila Bulletin
Ilocos Norte Rep. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. called on authorities Monday to put up measures that would secure members of the media in the coverage of the May 2010 elections, saying their role are of primary importance in preserving the integrity and credibility of the polls.
Marcos said all means of protecting members of the media in line with their official function should be done to ensure the honest, orderly and clean conduct of elections.
This, he said, because an effective election coverage would enable the people themselves to guard the elections against cheating.
The solon issued his call amid fears that this year’s election would fail due to massive cheating. With its responsibility of reporting every development that crops up in every election precinct, the media would do a lot to spare elections from poll cheats.
“Ang media ang magbibigay sa atin ng blow-by-blow account ng mga kaganapan sa araw ng eleksiyon. Malalaman natin kung magiging magulo o matahimik ang eleksiyon batay sa mga pagbabalita nila. Malaking tulong ito sa ating bayan [The media will give us a blow-by-blow account of everything that happens during election. We will know if the elections would be violent or peaceful based their reports. This will be a big help to the country],” Marcos said.
He said that in doing its mandate, the media could easily alert the Philippine National Police and the Commission on Election (Comelec) “if violence or any untoward incidents happen in connection with the conduct of the elections.”
Marcos said that members of the media would be at risk during the election period.
“Delikado ang mga journalists na nasa front-line. Kailangang higit na magbantay ang mga kagawad ng PNP lalu na kung may kaguluhan sa araw ng halalan [As journalists on the frontline may be in peril, the PNP should be on guard all the more specially where there is violence,” Marcos said.
He said authorities could go to the extent of providing bullet proof vest the members of the media covering elections in critical areas, if only to secure them.