Proposed law ensures freedom of the press - KUAM.com-KUAM News: On Air. Online. On Demand.

Proposed law ensures freedom of the press

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by Jason Salas

Guam - Two senators have put partisan differences aside in the interest of the larger goal of ensuring the preservation of the Constitutional rights of the island's media corps.  Senators Adolpho Palacios (D) and Ray Tenorio (R) have jointly authored a proposed bill that would criminalize those who violate the freedom of the press.

Motivated by the Guam Police Department's recent search of the KUAM Studios in Harmon, the policymakers drafted The Guam Privacy Protection Act.  This essentially would charge those infringing upon the rights of journalists to gather and report the truth and protect their confidential sources with a third-degree felony.  Effectively, the bill parallels the federal Privacy Protection Act of 1980, applying the criminal penalties for local offenders.

Senator Tenorio told KUAM News, "Our concern is that we have a great friendship with Police Chief Paul Suba. He was my supervisor and he worked along side Captain Palacios at the time at the Guam Police Department. It's not about that so much as it is making sure that we put into statute the protection of the men and women at the Guam Police Department so they can conduct their work every single day; but we need to do it within our Constitution to protect the integrity of the legitimate news organizations like KUAM, the Pacific Daily News, Marianas Variety and the Pacific News Center."

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