By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – A protocol should be followed before media men report the victims of the revelry in the eve of Christmas and New Year’s celebrations, this according to the management of the government runs hospital here.
Dr. Noel Manaois, of the Region-1 Medical Center (R1MC), told media men to first ask permission to the victims and their respective families, the attendant doctor, or the social welfare here.
Manaois, chief of the Health Emergency Management, said media should be careful that the patients and their families who do not want the carelessness or folly of the victims announced by the media sued them and the members of the fourth estate.
“Baka kasi kung minsan bumaliktad. Kasi talaga ang mga pasyente na sensitive. Para proteksiyon din ninyo iyon at para protektahan natin ang isat-isa kasi puweding baliktarin. Walang hinde puweding iyong hinde humingi isasama ninyo. Meron kasi ibang patient na hinde ninyo puweding i publish. Baka bumaliktad ho sa inyo,” he stressed.
He singled out those moneyed victims or their families who would take offense on the media report.
In reporting, he said media practitioners should not mention the whole name of the victim but instead quote or write the initials of their name.
“Hinde na nila mamasamain iyon kasi hindi naman natin sasabihin. Sige gawin na lang natin P.A.G, 77 years old, pero (hindi kasali) iyong buong pangalan”.
Manaois exhorted the reporters at the press conference at the hospital that Dr. Roland Mejia, R1MC Director, called last Monday that they should remember the doctor-patient privilege communication, too.
The media men however downplayed the fears of the doctors without asking their imprimatur and those of the patients and the personnel of the Department of Social Welfare and Development before they report or write the personality and status of the injured.
Some of them said they are not afraid of any legal repercussion in describing in public the macabre sights that befall the victims of firecrackers and other explosives as their work is shrouded with public interest.
“The interest of the public, and press freedom are superior to the doctor and patient privileged communication, and the prohibition given to the media to report them,” cited by Ronnel de Vera of Crime Buster Newspaper.
Broadcaster Susan Yadao of DWIC- News Radio said the complete names the media men are not allowed to mention as customarily practiced are those of the minor age.
Meanwhile, Dr. Cesar Guico, Chief of Clinic, said that victims of the fire crackers' explosion had 58 injuries last year.
The data he showed said that aside from year 2014, there were 62 victims in 2013, 59 victims in 2012, 42 victims in 2011, 49 victims in 2010, 48 victims in 2009, 69 victims in 2008, 65 victims in 2007, and 109 victims in 2006.
He said that in the 2014 festivities there were seven persons with eye injuries, 46 individuals with blast burns without amputation, four persons with blast burns with amputation, and one victim of stray bullet.
The indices were based on the victim who was confined at the R1MC and not at the provincial hospitals owned by the provincial government of Pangasinan.