Cebu Citizens-Press Council

Being accountable comes with being free

June 28, 2006 meeting


(Minutes of the Quarterly Meeting,
June 28, 2006, MBF Cebu Press Center, Lahug, Cebu City)

The CCPC meeting was held on Wednesday, June 28, 2006, at the Marcelo B. Fernan Press Center, Lahug, Cebu City.

CCPC Members Present
Sabino Dapat (Presiding Officer)
Fr. Aloysius Cartagenas
Atty. Jonathan P. Capanas
Mayette Q. Tabada
Mia Embalzado
Anol Mongaya
John Rey Saavedra (alternate of Juanito V. Jabat)
Atty. Pachico A. Seares
Eileen Mangubat
Edward Abad
Leo Lastimosa 

Lino Gilbert Parone (CDN)
Juan Mercado (Phil. Press Institute trustee)
Ligaya Dael (Cenewof)

Call to Order
Presiding officer Sabino R. Dapat called the meeting to order at 11:30 a.m.

Approval of the Minutes
On a motion, the minutes of the last meeting were read and approved by the members of the council.

Brief Update
Cherry Ann T. Lim, acting as assistant to the executive director, informed the council members about the launching of the CCPC website which can be accessed through She said:

a) The website contains information about the CCPC, its Code of Practice, Rules of Procedure, steps in making a complaint, news affecting media, and links to media outlets;

b) Later, it will contain the minutes of CCPC meetings, notices, accredited members of each media organization, news on the Cebu Media Medical Aid Fund, news on council activities, the complaints received by the CCPC and the action taken on them, and even a discussion board. It will be a repository of information on Cebu journalism;

c) Sun.Star initially paid the fees needed to put up the site for the first year. Payment for the succeeding years’ cost is still to be discussed.

d) Media organizations can help promote the website. (Eileen Mangubat noted that CCPC is the first press council in the country to have a website.)

Mangubat suggested the putting up of easy steps for readers to make a complaint.

CCPC incorporation
Atty. Jonathan Capanas reported to the council on the following status of the incorporation of CCPC and the registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

a) A set of pro-forma articles of incorporation and by-laws as non-stock non-profit organization was already acquired from the express lane of the Securities and Exchange Commission;

b) The name CEBU CITIZENS PRESS COUNCIL was already reserved through the SEC website and the corresponding fees were already paid;

c) Hopefully, CCPC will be duly registered before the end of July 2006.

It was agreed that for incorporation, each CCPC member will make a contribution. Upon the motion of Atty. Seares, duly seconded and unanimously approved by the council, the membership fee shall be P1,000 each.

It was also decided by the council that the term of office of the officers shall be two (2) years.

Committee report on the issue of parading suspects before the media

The special committee created to study the issue composed of Mayette Tabada, Jerry Tundag and Joy Tumulak delivered its report, which the council en banc adopted in principle to be issued as advisory to Cebu journalists. But the committee will have to set up meetings with police authorities first to get their views on this issue.

For the details on how to write crime stories in a manner that is fair to the suspects, discussions will be made at the newsroom levels.

Mayette Tabada will chair the committee that will make a final report on the results of discussions in the next CCPC en banc meeting.

Discussion on pending legislation in Congress

The council en banc expressed support for two bills:

a) House Bill No. 4835, amending the Sotto Law–which grants journalists the right to divulge their news sources–to include journalists of broadcast stations, wire agencies and the internet;

b) House Bill No. 77, which limits the venue of civil and criminal libel against community print and broadcast journalists and newspaper and broadcast stations to the principal office of business of the publication or station.

The council will send its resolution of support for the two bills to the Senate and to the Local Government Units. The resolution will be written by Atty. Pachico Seares. The resolution will be publicized, including the signatures of those supporting it.

Summary of reports expected for next CCPC meeting
a) Final report on the incorporation of CCPC
b) Final report on the committee chaired by Mayette Tabada
c) Final report on advocacy regarding the two House bills

Other matters

a) Next CCPC meeting will be during the Press Freedom Week, Sept. 17-24. Students may be invited to observe the meeting. As much as possible, CCPC meetings will be held at the MBF Center because Cenewof wants to project itself as an active organization;

b) Seares asked that CCPC members nominate alternates so that if they are unable to attend, their alternates can attend for them.

c) Dapat suggested that “Business arising from the minutes” be made part of the agenda.

The meeting was adjourned at about 2 p.m.

Prepared by:
Atty. Jonathan P. Capanas

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