Cebu Citizens-Press Council

Being accountable comes with being free

CCPC condemns murder of radio commentator Rey Cortes

July 22, 2021 · No Comments


Cebu City, July 22, 2021

CCPC seeks police creation of  task force.
Staffer or block timer , broadcaster Rey Cortes was a media worker.

                    The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) requests the police to investigate thoroughly and speedily the killing of dyRB broadcaster Reynante “Rey”  Cortes who hosted the commentary program “Engkwentro” on dyRB  in Cebu City. Cortes was gunned down Thursday morning, July 22  right outside the radio station in Mambaling.

  Whether he was a regular staff member or block-timer of dyRB does not change this fact: He was a media practitioner whose killers should be arrested and prosecuted. Cortes’s murder, under Standard Operating Procedure 2012-006 dated November 12, 2012  was deemed  a “heinous and sensational crime.”  The case requires an investigation by an SITG or Special Investigation Task Group. Media practitioners are included in the same category  as vice governors, PB members, mayors, vice mayors, councilors, barangay captains and councilors, judges, prosecutors and lawyers, and militants.

Media workers are not special people and do not expect special treatment. The local community of journalists  will be content with diligent crime investigation that, sadly,  people had not seen applied to similar cases of violence against media workers and other high-profile personalities. An SITG inquiry may help cut down public skepticism.  

Given the total of 223 cases of attacks and threats against media since 2016 (as of May 1, 2021),  CCPC worries about how another unsolved murder of a media worker could  heighten the state of impunity that various sectors of society, not just the press, fear and condemn.  If a media worker’s life could be easily snuffed out, violence could replace democracy’s regular means of discourse. 

The Cortes murder appears to be work-related but even if it were not,  it was still a disruption of Cebu’s peace and order, a desecration of community values should it  go unpunished.

Atty. Pachico A. Seares, Executive Director

Rey Cortes. From Facebook
Rey Cortes handling his daily radio program Engkwentro, aired 7:30-8:30 in the morning over dyRB AM 540 KHz. Screen shot, Facebook page of DYRB Radyo Pilipino Cebu.

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Election 2022 pledge

July 20, 2021 · No Comments

CCPC joins the call for credible elections. Media can help protect the integrity of choosing our leaders.

“EVERY ELECTION is a reckoning for democracy. As journalists reporting on another critical moment for our country, we have a duty to provide accurate, reliable and essential information that will empower voters and encourage public discussion and debate.”

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CCPC requests early vaccination for media workers not working from home.

March 15, 2021 · No Comments

Appeal made to City Council through VM Rama, and Councilors Garcia and Archival.

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Cebu Declaration 2020

February 28, 2021 · No Comments

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Improve messaging – CCPC to City Council

February 26, 2021 · No Comments

Press statement

Cebu City, December 2, 2020

CCPC asks Cebu City Council to improve messaging by policy, fund support

Text of CCPC Resolution of December 2, 2020 (sent to Cebu City Council through Councilors Raymond Garcia, chairman of budget and finance committee, and Eduardo Rama Jr., chairman of information and technology committee).

Considering …

[1] The Cebu City Government, through the oath of elected and appointed public officials and the mandate of the Local Government Code and the Constitution, to serve their constituents diligently and well, observing always the policy of accountability and transparency;

[2] The Cebu City Government needs to connect to its public through plain and effective messaging, by a) adopting the right technology and efficient methods and (b) employing people with zeal and diligence of good communicators.

[3] The need for connectivity and messaging has been graphically and sharply demonstrated in the Covid-19 epidemic when, on a number of occasions, orders and directives were garbled, confused or misunderstood by the public because of poor communication equipment or methods and failure of City Hall communicators to respond quickly and effectively.

[4] The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (known for short as CCPC) last April 21, 2020, amid the upsurge of the the coronavirus, called for improved messaging by local governments, including the Cebu City Government, so that quarantine orders and polices would be understood more easily and quickly by the people. (A copy of the CCPC resolution is hereto annexed.)

CCPC, in a position paper submitted to the City Council last Jan. 8, 2020, also asked the Sanggunian committee on information & technology headed by Councilor Eduardo Rama Rama Jr. to require City Hall officials to upload documents the public has the right to know, as a “pro-active gesture of transparency and accountability.” (City Council has a copy of the position paper in its records.)

[5] The Cebu City Government may achieve this in twin-pronged moves of (a) laying down the policy of transparency and effective messaging and (b) providing funds to acquire needed equipment and hire the right people to implement it.

[6] Finally, messaging and connectivity will benefit not only the city government and its officials but also the public, through the news media – currently handicapped in coverage of local governance and hobbled by false reports – in transmitting news and information as substantially and accurately as possible.

Now therefore …

The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC), in earnestly requesting for better messaging and connectivity by the Cebu City Government with its public, hereby asks the Honorable Sanggunian to:

[1] Provide in the General Appropriation Budget for 2021 funds for the city’s Public Information Office to secure or improve equipment, technology and expertise aimed to boost information and understanding of City Hall’s activities and policies.

[2] Lay down a general policy of pro-active release of information and news and clarification on plans or decisions that affect public interest.

(Ratified by Cebu Citizens-Press Council en banc members, December 2, 2020)

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