Local October 25, 2016 | 3:18 pm

Ruling party senators slam bill would make journalists ‘collaborators’

Santo Domingo.- Three senators of Dominican Republic’sruling party (PLD) on Tuesday critiqued the bill that would cast aside the professionalsecrecy of journalists, who’d become "collaborators" of law enforcementagencies and of the Justice Ministry.

Senators Aristides Victoria Yeb (Maria TrinidadSanchez); Adriano Sanchez Roa (Elías Piña) and Tommy Galan( San Cristobal) separatelystated their opposition to Article 18 of the initiative of their colleaguesJosé Rafael Vargas, Luis Rene Canaan and Manuel Guichardo.

Victoria, Sanchez and Galan agreed that journalists’professional secrecy is an internationally recognized right and wouldn’t vote tocurtail the communicators’ achievement.

They said freedom of expression is one of themilestones reached over the last 50 years and must be maintained because it’s oneof the pillars of democracy.

"Professionals such as lawyers, doctors,journalists have their professional secrecy recognized throughout the world,why would we go and eliminate it?. That right must be sustained," Victoriasaid.

He said the Justice Ministry and lawenforcement agencies have their methodology to obtain information available tosupport investigations without jeopardizing journalists.

For Galan, journalists’ professional secrecy "isa precious value in the practice of journalism and I think Congress will notact to approve something of that sort."

The initiative violates Article 49 of theConstitution which stipulates a journalist’s professional secrecy with newssources.


In that regard, prominent attorney andpresident of the Justice and Law Foundation, Namphi Rodriguez, warned that ifthe bill is passed, journalists would become "collaborators of therepressive agencies of the State."

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