Cebu Citizens-Press Council

Being accountable comes with being free

Minutes of September 2006 meeting

December 4th, 2006 · No Comments

Cebu Citizens-Press Council Annual and 3rd Quarterly Meeting
September 21, 2006, MBF Cebu Press Center, Lahug, Cebu City

Present: Sabino Dapat (presiding officer), Atty. Jonathan Capanas, Fr. Aloysius Cartagenas, Mario King, Jose Rafael Ferreros, Mayette Q. Tabada, Mia Embalzado, Edward Abad, Leo Lastimosa, Atty. Pachico A. Seares, Jerry Tundag, Eileen Mangubat, Anol N. Mongaya, John Rey Saavedra (alternate of Juanito Jabat)

Absent: Dr. Pureza Oñate (in Paris, France)

Guests: Monsignor Achilles Dakay, media liaison officer, Archdiocese of Cebu
Senior Supt. Ronald Roderos, deputy director for administration, Police Regional Office 7
Medardo de Lemos, director, National Bureau of Investigation 7
Nagiel Bañacia, Cebu City public information officer
Minerva Newman, OIC, Philippine Information Agency 7
Vera Alejandria, external affairs officer, corporate communication & customer affairs division, Cebu Holdings Inc. Jeanette Japzon, customer affairs assistant, Cebu Holdings Inc.
Thads Bentulan, projects division manager, Cebu Holdings Inc.
Hiede Lavares, Cebu Holdings Inc.
Filomeno Lim, president, Cebu Fil-Chinese Chamber of Commerce
Alex Du, member, Lapu-Lapu Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce
Alex Badayos, president, LENS
Tonee Despojo, vice president, LENS
Roberto J. Manzano, consultant, media relations, The Coca-Cola Export Corp.
JB Baylon, public affairs director, The Coca-Cola Export Corp.
Atty. Elias Espinoza, columnist, Sun.Star Cebu
Atty. Pedro Rosito, former president, IBP Cebu chapter
Atty. Eddie Barrita, columnist, Sun.Star Cebu
Juan Mercado, trustee, Philippine Press Institute trustee
Bobby Nalzaro, Sun.Star Cebu columnist and anchor of GMA 7’s Balitang Bisdak
Marit Remonde, station manager, dyLA
Elias Baquero, Cebu Federation of Beat Journalists
Connie Fernandez, executive editor, Cebu Daily News
Nini Cabaero, Head, Sun.Star Network Exchange
Jolen Lim, Manager, MBF Cebu Press Center
Isolde D. Amante, Managing editor-news, Sun.Star Cebu
Ian Manticajon, Coordinator, mass communications, UP Visayas Cebu College (UPVCC)
Dr. Ulysses E. Sison, Chairman, Mass Communication Dept., Southwestern University
Dr. Reynaldo Caturza, Coordinator of Nexus, publication of the College of Arts & Sciences, Cebu Normal University Malou Joy Bancong, Teacher, Mass Communications, University of San Jose-Recoletos
Bienvenido Fernandez, Teacher, Mass Communications, St. Theresa’s College (STC)
Bernardo L. See, manager, Hong Kong Food Products
Sister Rica Dalaguit, Archdiocesan C. Commission
Students from UPVCC: Trex Eden Ignacio, Kimberly May Villacrucis, Zorabelle Fran Uy, Roxygane Quezada, Coca, Andrea Pineda
Students from STC: Eoni Rizane, Leonisa Lazaro, Cheryl Baldicantos, RC Dalaguit, Jha Buenaflor, Antoniette Parce, Reggie Marie Barrientos

Call to Order

The Presiding Officer, Mr. Sabino R. Dapat, called the meeting to order at about 11:30 A.M.  After determination and declaration of a quorum, the council proceeded with the business following business of the day:  (Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting was dispensed with because it is already available at the CCPC Website)

1. Incorporation

Atty. Jonathan Capanas said the CCPC is now registered with the SEC.

2. Updates

Cherry Ann T. Lim, assistant to Atty. Pachico A. Seares, acting CCPC executive director, gave an update on the following:

(a) The two House bills filed by Rep. Raul V. del Mar—one seeking to amend the Sotto Law to include broadcast journalists in its protection; the other, limiting the venue of libel to the court of the province or city where the journalist resides or where the newspaper or broadcast station has its principal place of business or editorial operation.

She said letters had been sent to each senator with the request that the bills, already passed by the House and transmitted to the Senate, be acted upon before it adjourns this year. She added that a tie-up had been established with the Philippine Press Institute, whose board of trustees made the same appeal to the Senate

(b) Website content                  
These are now available at       

(1) Minutes of the previous quarterly meeting;      
(2) Agenda for succeeding meetings;                  
(3) Rules on beneficiaries of Cebu Media Medical Aid Fund            
(4) List of journalists in Cebu—So far, only Sun.Star Cebu, Sun.Star SuperBalita, Sun.Star Network Exchange, The Freeman and Cebu Daily News have submitted their lists.                       

(c) CCPC has received a total of 3 complaints since MBF opened as the receiving center of complaints in early 2006.

3. Proposed Standards on Describing or Identifying Crime Suspects

(a) Mayette Q. Tabada, head of the committee tasked to study the issue of parading suspects before the media, reported on the proposed standards on describing or identifying crime suspects. She also reported on the commitments made by law enforcement chiefs following an Aug. 31, 2006 meeting between the committee with police authorities.

(b) During the meeting, Senior Supt. Ronald Roderos, deputy director for administration, Police Regional Office 7, confirmed that the committee’s report was accurate and said he would have the report disseminated to his       police units for their comment.

(c) A member of the audience, Thads Bentulan of Cebu Holdings Inc., said that in the Commonwealth and EU countries, suspects are not named at all, and their faces not shown. Jerry Tundag of The Freeman responded by saying the EU cannot be held up as a model for fairness in the matter of parading suspects before the media. After all, they have paparrazi who take shots of just anybody, even in compromising positions.

(d) Another guest, Atty. Elias Espinoza emphasized that while there may be no law in the Philippines may be violated by the practice of identifying crime suspects, human rights are violated.  According to him, in other countries the face of the suspect can be shown only when the case is filed with the court.          

4. Turnover of the “Journalists in Action” photo exhibit

There was a turnover of the photo exhibit—which was mounted at the MBF Cebu Press Center on the occasion of Cebu Press Freedom Week—by LENS, the association of news photographers and videographers in Cebu, to the Cebu News Workers Foundation (Cenewof). Representatives of the sponsors of the exhibit, The Coca-Cola Export Corp., were on hand during the turnover.

5. Cebu Media Legal Aid

Atty. Pachico Seares introduced the convenors of the Cebu Media Legal Aid as Atty. Pedro Rosito, Atty. Elias Espinoza, Atty. Eddie Barrita, Atty. Frank Malilong (not present at the meeting) and himself.

6. Presentation on the CCPC model

(a) Atty. Pachico Seares, acting CCPC executive director, gave a presentation entitled “Why we think the CCPC will work.”

(b) These were the reactions from both CCPC members and the audience:

-Edward Abad, CCPC member and KBP-Cebu chairman, welcomed the formation of the CCPC, saying that since the KBP did not have the manpower to monitor all stations, the public could send their complaints to the CCPC, which could channel it to the KBP Standards Authority.

-Leo Lastimosa, CCPC member and KBP-Cebu vice chairman, said the CCPC would help professionalize the industry by raising the degree of accountability of broadcasters, including those who are not members of the KBP, because the public would have another avenue for complaints if they don’t trust the KBP to address their complaints.

-Reacting to a comment from a member of the audience who said people were afraid to raise complaints against the media, Jerry Tundag of The Freeman said the media was more afraid to be sued and shot.

7. New Business            

During the open forum, Monsignor Achilles Dakay asked why suspects are sometimes shielded from publicity, but that whenever a priest is involved, the priest is named.

Atty. Pachico Seares, Jerry Tundag and Eileen Mangubat explained priests are named only when they submit themselves to the process, like when they make a statement to the Prosecutor’s Office; they submit themselves to the questions of reporters; or when the newspaper has gotten the side of the priest on the matter.              

It was then suggested that a committee be formed to propose standards on the coverage of priests. Mia Embalzado was appointed to head the committee. Fr. Aloysius Cartagenas and Eileen Mangubat volunteered to be a part of the committee. Mayette Tabada volunteered to be an observer.              

After Minerva Newman, OIC of the Philippine Information Agency 7, suggested that the rights of women and children should also be respected when they are portrayed in media, it was suggested that the committee expand its scope so that it would now tackle the coverage of church affairs, and the human rights of women and children.


The meeting was adjourned at about 2:00 in the afternoon.

Tags: Announcements · Minutes of meetings

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