11 July 2012

DOJ Secretary Leila M. De Lima brushed aside the negative reactions to the reported relocation of two major press corps from the Department of Justice (DOJ) main building as simply a case of "much ado about nothing."

Secretary De Lima clarified that the media reporters in the DOJ main building (2nd floor) are simply being transferred to another location within the DOJ premises and that will be the only change insofar as they are concerned.

Secretary De Lima said: "There are no restrictions being imposed by DOJ on media. What was simply decided at the EXECOM level is the relocation of the media offices from the second floor of the main building to another building. Nothing more, nothing less. Some quarters are apparently trying to fuel further friction between DOJ and the media by feeding false info, such as the alleged no ambush interview rule and requirement of prior clearance for an interview. I will not countenance such restrictions to press freedom."

She emphasized that the sooner the relocation is effected, the .sooner everyone will realize, especially the affected reporters and media practitioners, that nothing, indeed, has changed, except the location of the media offices. They will have the same unhampered and unrestricted access to the DOJ officials as before, she said, and go about their business like they are doing now.

As earlier clarified, the relocation of the media offices is intended to rationalize the use of the limited spaces in the second floor of the DOJ building for a closer, smoother and more effective coordination between the Secretary of Justice and the Undersecretaries and the other officials and employees under the Office of the Secretary (OSEC).

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