MANILA, Philippines –It is not true that the Philippine immigration bureau has blacklisted the Hong Kong-based journalists who heckled President Benigno Aquino III at the APEC Summit held in 2013 in Bali, Indonesia.
In a statement made on Friday, November 21, Communications Secretary Herminio Coloma Jr said that “no such ‘blacklist’” exists, contrary to a report carried by the South China Post.
“According to Bureau of Immigration (BI) Commissioner Siegfred Mison, there is no such ‘blacklist’ of journalists who are denied entry to the Philippines on account of their actions during the APEC summit in Bali, Indonesia, last year,” Coloma said.
“He said that if the identity of the Hong Kong-based cameraman who was reportedly denied entry is known, then the BI could verify from its records if, indeed, there was a denial of entry as well as the legal grounds for such denial,” he added.
With regard to the 2015 APEC Summit, to be held in the Philippines, Coloma pointed out that accreditation procedure for journalists who will cover the event has not yet begun, and that no journalist has been blacklisted from the event, at this point.
“The Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO), which is the office that gives accreditation to international and Filipino journalists covering official government events, has not started the accreditation process for journalists who will cover the APEC summit in the Philippines in 2015. Therefore, no journalist has been given or denied accreditation, and there is no factual basis for the existence of a so-called ‘blacklist’,” he said.