LEGAZPI CITY, Jan. 19 (PNA) -- The Police Regional Office 5 (PRO5) Press Corps has passed a resolution condemning lawyer Romeo Fortes, the outgoing regional director of the Commission on Elections Bicol, for alleged arrogant behavior and response to questions he showed during the Regional Joint Security Council Meeting and press conference held at the PRO5 Multi-Purpose Hall on Jan. 12.
Fortes also reportedly belittled the members of the media before officials and members of the RJSC after the press conference conducted before the meeting.
The comments of Fortes were recorded by a radio broadcast journalist.
The media group submitted copies of the resolution to the Comelec Central Office and its regional office here.
Darlan Barcelon, PRO5 board member, said the resolution is asking for two actions: 1) a public apology from Fortes to the media, and 2) If he cannot make a public apology over the radio or televison, Fortes can make it in writing addressed to Alex Mirandilla, PRO5 Press Corps president.
The PNA tried to contact Fortes but the Comelec official's line could not be reached.
Even broadcaster Vince Villar of Bombo Radyo Legazpi was refused to be answered by Fortes when he tried to call the latter up for several times for comments.
Fortes told the media practitioners who had asked for his phone number that it would be useless as he would be leaving already for another assignment in Region IV-A.
Barcelon said it was saddening that Fortes made pronouncements at the press conference and behind the press people's back after the occasion, which were offensive.
He said a media practitioner has the right to ask questions and write what the people should know.
Barcelon said Fortes has 15 days to respond to the resolution of the PRO5 Press Corps.
If nothing happens after the 15-day period, he said, the group and Albay media will declare Fortes a persona non grata.
"This position letter will stay until, and unless, he will issue an official apology to all of us. If he will continue to ignore this petition and will continue to show discourtesy against the local media in the province, we will be forced to declare him as persona non grata in due time," Barcelon stressed.
He said the PRO5 Press Corp and the Albay media stood united in condemning to the highest sense of the word what Fortes did, especially when he belittled them. (PNA) RMA/FGS/NIM/CBD