Supreme Court affirms denial of live coverage of Ampatuan trial

Posted by ampatuan | Posted in Case Updates | Posted on 14-01-2015

CMFR/PHILIPPINES – THE SUPREME COURT of the Philippines affirmed its 23 October 2012 decision which disallowed live media broadcast of the hearings being conducted by Branch 221 of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court in connection with the Ampatuan Massacre.

In a briefing held by its Public Information Office last 13 January 2015, SC spokesperson Theodore Te stated that the Court denied the motions for reconsideration filed by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, widows Editha Tiamzon and Glenna Legarta, and the Office of the Solicitor General, finding “no reason to reverse” its resolution forbidding media from airing the proceedings of the Ampatuan Massacre live.

The SC PIO said that the Court “cited the need to protect the rights of the parties and the dignity of the courts as well as ensure the orderly conduct of the proceedings.” Practical considerations in broadcasting criminal proceedings in foreign jurisdictions were also mentioned by the Court among the reasons why it does not allow live coverage of the trial.

The Court also said that most countries “do not allow cameras in their courtrooms.”

The 23 October 2012 Resolution modified the Supreme Court’s 14 June 2011 guidelines which allowed transmittal of audio-visual recordings to radio and television stations. (See the comparison of the 14 June 2011 and 23 October 2012 guidelines here.)