MANILA The Presidential Security Group (PSG) on Labor Day apologized for temporarily barring media from entering MalacaAang, noting the heightened security implemented for the occasion.
Labor groups on Tuesday converged in various venues for their annual Labor Day protests to demand higher pay and an end to contractualization.
Because it's Labor Day, we are anticipating protest rallies [sic] here in Mendiola so we are on heightened alert, PSG Chief of Staff Col. Potenciano Camba said in a mix of English and Filipino.
We did not expect that there would be a lot of members of the MPC entering. If there was an inconvenience, we apologize, he added, referring to members of the MalacaAang Press Corps.
Camba denied that there was an order to bar media noting that a similar incident can be avoided if there is proper coordination between PSG and media.
PSG commander Brig. Gen. Lope Dagoy described what happened as a simple case of misunderstanding.
There was a misunderstanding. We declared red alert because there were reports of threats that would take place there so we only wanted to be sure, Dagoy said.
Soldiers didn't know that there would be media going there, he added as he apologized and said that it was unintentional.
Last February, Rappler reporter Pia Ranada was barred from entering the New Executive Building in MalacaAang where Palace briefings are usually held.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said that online media site Rappler will be barred from entering until they resolve their ownership issue at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
The SEC earlier said Rappler violated the Constitution's restriction on foreign ownership of local media. However, Rappler has debunked this claim stating that it is Filipino-owned. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency