Palace seeks review of blacklisting of foreign journalists
MANILA, Philippines—Malacañang asked Saturday for a reassessment by the Bureau of Immigration of its blacklisting of nine foreign journalists who allegedly taunted President Benigno Aquino during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Indonesia last year.
“Our position is that the exclusion should be reassessed, given that there was no similar incident during this year’s summit,’’ Palace spokeswoman Abigail Valte said of last week’s APEC summit in Beijing.
“We want the PH hosting to be as successful as possible and we welcome everyone who will contribute to make this happen,’’ she added in a text message.
Malacañang was informed of the National Intelligence Coordinating Agency’s request for exclusion to the Bureau of Immigration only on Friday, according to Valte.
National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia said he had yet to speak with NICA on the matter.
Immigration officials confirmed that certain foreign journalists were included on the blacklist in June as recommended by NICA for acts committed against the President during the APEC summit in Bali last year.
“Following normal protocol, the endorsement by NICA resulted in issuance of a blacklist order against the identified foreign nationals,’’ Immigration spokesperson Elaine Tan said in a statement.
APEC host Indonesia evicted and revoked the credentials of nine Hong Kong journalists who shouted questions at Mr. Aquino during the October 2013 summit over the August 2010 Luneta hostage crisis in which eight Hong Kong tourists were killed.
Then Communications Secretary Ricky Carandang said the journalists had crossed the ethical boundary when they aggressively questioned the President about the siege.
Hong Kong’s press association protested the eviction.
The tourists were killed along with their guide on a tour bus hijacked by dismissed police officer Rolando Mendoza during the day-long siege that ended in a botched police rescue. The hostage-taker was also killed.
Tan explained that a foreigner may be disallowed entry if he shows disrespect or makes offensive utterances to “symbols’’ of Philippine authority.
“The rationale is that the subject is a threat to public safety and blacklisting minimizes that risk,’’ she said.
This could be lifted if the foreigner shows proof to reverse blacklisting, she said.
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