SC holds annual forum for media on judiciary coverage

March 31, 2011 4:54 am 

BAGUIO CITY, March 30 — The Supreme Court (SC) conducted on Wednesday its 2011 Forum for Media on Judiciary Coverage in this summer capital 250 kilometers north of Manila.

The annual media forum, which started during the watch of former Chief Justice Artemio V. Panganiban in 2006, has become an annual undertaking of the highest court of the land since then.

Lawyer Maria Victoria Gleoresty Guerra, Director IV and SC Public Information Office (PIO) Assistant Chief, lectured on the Survey of Philippine Jurisprudence on Libel, Contempt, and Right to Privacy, particularly on the exception to the constitutional right of Freedom of Speech and of the Press.

For his part, Rey Panaligan, senior news reporter of Manila Bulletin who has covered the Judiciary since May 1977, talked about the “Do’s and Don’ts” in court reportage.

Panaligan advised media participants to “scoop” and not be “scooped” in their coverage of the Judiciary.

On the other hand, Atty. Ismael G. Khan Jr., first SC PIO chief, tackled “The Courts and the Media: A Study of Media Related Court Cases."

Khan cited the clamor for live media coverage of the Ampatuan trial concerning the Maguindanao massacre case that claimed the lives of 57 civilians, including 15 women and 30 media practitioners, in Ampatuan town, Maguindanao on Nov. 23, 2009.

The decision on the live media coverage of the Ampatuan trial is coming up, Khan said.

He noted that cameras are only allowed inside the court before the proceedings, just like the plunder trial of former President Joseph “Erap” Ejercito Estrada before the anti-graft court Sandiganbayan in 2001.

Khan stressed that freedom of speech and of the press is not absolute in the sense that such right has its own limitations as enshrined in the 1987 Philippine Constitution. (PNA) scs/PTR/mec

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