ASEAN@50: Beyond the Headlines

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Today, at 50, ASEAN’s decades-long existence should prompt some earnest reflection on several fronts. How far has it gone in achieving its goals? How much of its multi-pronged vision for the 625 million-strong regional bloc is now undeniably a reality? Has it made a dent in the lives of its peoples, not just economically but also politically, socially, and culturally? To what extent is this being felt on the ground, if at all?

Questions abound in particular on the state of human rights and other thorny issues — the Rohingya crisis and South China Sea dispute easily jumping to the top of the list — hounding, and polarizing, parts of the region, and which are of such a scale they have drawn global attention. Is Southeast Asia, finally, a region where the only thing that sets its peoples apart is their geographical boundaries? (This, amid the march to regional integration.)

It goes without saying that ASEAN is not just about the much-ballyhooed, high-profile summits and similar events regularly attended by its leaders and other high-ranking officials. Yet, mention ASEAN to ordinary citizens of any one of its ten member countries, and what easily comes to mind? (One hopes it’s not the obligatory photo-ops showing our leaders clad in the traditional dress of their host country.) Do they pride themselves, collectively and individually, on being part of ASEAN, knowing quite well what it is all about and should mean for them? Can they, off the top of their heads, explain its role — and relevance — amid ASEAN’s diverse political systems as well as social, economic, and cultural settings?

And amid a flurry of acronyms (e.g., AEC, ASC, ASCC, AEM, AFTA, ATM, AMBDC, AFMM, AMEM, AMMin, etc. — indeed a veritable alphabet soup of abbreviations), how much does the average ASEAN citizen understand about specific ASEAN committees’ raison d’etre and the goings-on before, during, and after official meetings and dialogues, and why should he care?

These and myriad other, even more substantive, issues deserve a deeper look such as the challenges of regional integration, dubbed a milestone in ASEAN’s history.

Who better to explore the issues — including highly polarizing ones — that matter to ASEAN peoples — than the mass media? Who better to tell the stories that are aching to be told — stories that go beyond the headlines, cliches, and catchphrases — and that often get buried in the din of what is arguably superficial coverage of ASEAN — than the media? There is no gainsaying the fact that media are in a strategic (though not necessarily enviable) position — this, by dint of their time-honored function — to expand the breadth and depth of public discussions (to the extent that these are taking place) cannot be emphasized enough.

Interestingly enough, as ASEAN marks its golden anniversary on August 8, some decades-old and recently emergent issues and challenges are still lurking in the dark, waiting to be brought to light, as it were. Perhaps it is time Southeast Asia’s national and regional media, including community newspapers, took stock of the state of their coverage of the regional bloc — and rose to the challenge of shining a spotlight where it’s most needed, long after the latest ASEAN summit has been concluded or regional agreement signed — and long after the visual spectacles that often mark high-level regional meetings vanish from view.

While at it, the Philippines’ chairmanship this year of ASEAN comes at an interesting time, when the country is being hobbled by allegations of human rights violations spawned by President Rodrigo Duterte’s all-out war against drugs. The irony should not be lost on those of us who are familiar with the strong and firm position the Philippine government has taken in the past on specific issues such as when it actively pushed for the creation of a regional human rights body and led calls to strengthen the ASEAN Human Rights Declaration in the face of perceived deficiencies in this vital instrument.

To date no ASEAN member state has publicly called out the Philippines for the culture of impunity that human rights advocates say the the country’s anti-drug campaign has engendered. Such a stance seems all of a piece with the region’s principle of non-interference in matters domestic.

To be sure public debate around complex and sensitive issues confronting ASEAN needs to be enhanced. Pointing out the role of the press in this regard would be belaboring the obvious, but it would also mean positing that the media, and all member states for that matter, are standing on common ground where fundamental freedoms are concerned. (Fifty years on, dissent is still frowned upon in parts of the region.)

Still and all, the Philippine Press Institute, on the occasion of its 21st National Press Forum, hopes to make a modest contribution to enhancing public dialogue on ASEAN, with the media at the forefront.

 

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PPI long-time employees recognized in annual confab

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On its 53rd founding anniversary last May, the Philippine Press Institute, also known as the national association of newspapers, recognized two employees of its secretariat for their length of service, commitment and exceptional performance. Edgar M. Abalajon began working in 1988 while Nemy S. Joquino started in 1989.  Both saw the growth of the institute after its revival in 1986.  Special plaques of appreciation were awarded to them by chairman-president Alfonso G. Pedroche at H2O Hotel in Manila.

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Upholding the truth to fight falsehood

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PPI enjoins students to beat the scourge of fake news

By Tess Bacalla

They came in large numbers, some having traveled from nearby provinces on the eve of the event to which they were invited to witness and engage in a frank and earnest discussion on an issue that has swept the nation — fake news, deliberate misinformation, hoaxes, and other permutations of this global scourge.

Toward the end of the one-day scholastic forum organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), the participating students made a pledge and, with little prodding, signed a Students’ Covenant — that they would not be complicit in the unprecedented spread of fake news and that they would do their share in today’s concerted efforts to fight it.

University students (mostly of mass communication) from Luzon — in particular, Baguio City, Batangas City, and Malolos, Bulacan — recently took time off their academic activities to participate in the forum held in April and May as part of PPI’s initial salvo to engage students in the fight against fake news.

At least 700 students took part in the forum held separately at the University of the Cordilleras, Batangas State University, and Bulacan State University. A similar, though just a half-day, event was held at the Philippine Information Agency. Students from Metro Manila such as the Far Eastern University, Miriam College, Unibersidad de Manila, University of the Philippines-Diliman, Polytechnic University of the Philippines, and University of Santo Tomas graced the event, which coincided with the Philippines Communication Society’s annual election of its new officers and members’ meeting.

Themed “Let’s Get Real on Fake News” and supported by Nickel Asia Corp., PPI’s scholastic forum tackled the whys and wherefores of fake news, including how to spot and fact-check it.

Select universities in the Visayas and Mindanao will also host PPI’s scholastic forum on fake news in the coming months.

The digital revolution — set off by an unprecedented shift from analog to digital technologies — has made possible, even abetted, though unwittingly, the rise of fake news. It is marked “by a flood of information and misinformation that news consumers can access from anywhere at anytime,” said the 2016 World Development report published by the World Bank.

Between 2005 and 2015, the number of internet users across the world more than tripled from 1 billion to 3.2 billion, according to the report. To date the Philippines is one of the top 20 countries with the highest number of internet users, based on data from Internet World Stats, an online site which tracks global internet usage. The country is ranked 15th and is estimated to have 54 million Facebook users, comprising slightly more than its population of around 103 million.

“Getting in touch with kith and kin alike — no matter the distance — now comes with little effort and at relatively little costs,” says PPI in the rationale explaining the significance of the scholastic forum on fake news.

“Yet the same tools being used for expanding and deepening public dialogue, and enhancing civic and political engagement while empowering marginalized sectors, are also being wielded to undermine such and similar ends.

“The advent of ‘fake news’, ‘alternative facts, or simply put, outright lies, clearly illustrates this troubling reality that is rewiring public debate, and societies at large, in the digital age,” adds PPI.

“In the Philippines and elsewhere in the world the proliferation of fake news is polarizing society and deepening the political divide. This, at a time when people should be reaping increasing digital dividends not only to enhance their individual and collective well-being but also to ensure more responsive, efficient, and transparent public governance.”

In one of the latest iterations of hoax news, popular supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte and newly appointed public official Mocha Uson shared on her Facebook page a photo, purportedly of the Philippine Army, enjoining prayer for the troops engaged in a raging battle against homegrown terror groups in Marawi City, Lanao del Sur.

The online backlash came fast and furious. As it turned out the unverified image was of Honduras’ police.

Not to be outdone, the Philippine News Agency earlier published a false report, saying 95 out of 105 countries whose representatives attended the recently concluded Universal Periodic Review (UPR) in Geneva by the United Nations Human Rights Council were convinced that there were no extrajudicial killings in the Philippines. The story was subsequently replaced — with nary an explanation or an apology amid public backlash — with another truth-twisting article, “PHL’s human rights situation commended at UPR.”

Just last week, as though inured to the gaping chasm between truth and fakery, PNA used a misleading photo as an accompaniment to an article, titled “Urban warfare a challenge for soldiers in Marawi.” What turned out to be a Wikipedia commons-sourced photo was of a scene during the Vietnam War.

Against such backdrop depicting today’s deeply troubling reality that has come to define much of the digital sphere, PPI believes the insidious trend shaping today’s social media highlights the need to ramp up public discussion, including among the youth, on this aberration in this so-called post-truth or 'alternative facts' era.

Avie Olarte, one of the editors of Vera Files, an independent media organization in the Philippines, demonstrated during the forum how to fact-check false claims and inaccurate statements, notably from public officials. She cited, for instance, President Duterte’s claim in August 2016 — shortly after the national election — that he was not a millionaire. Vera Files, which has embarked on a fact-checking initiative, disproved his claim, citing his Statements of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth for the period 2001-2015, which showed his net worth growing steadily to 23.5 million by 2015.

Traditional, internal fact-checking has long been a standard practice in newsrooms, she said, but the massive proliferation of fake news has given rise to a new form of this tool — dubbed fact-checking journalism, which holds government officials accountable for their public statements or pronouncements, notably on policy issues.
More to the point, it calls out falsehoods spewed by such officials, confirms or debunks their claims, and determines the factual accuracy of their public statements.

The overwhelming response of the students to PPI’s call to fight fake news doing the rounds on social media, as evidenced in part by their thoughtful questions during the open forum with the resource speakers, shines a light on this dark phase of the information era.

“We vow to refrain from posting or sharing any bit of information that we have not verified to be accurate and truthful — and to have originated from reliable and responsible sources. This, even if such information may seem to confirm what we, or the larger segments of society, think, feel, or believe,” states the covenant drafted by PPI and which was read to and signed by the students.

“We likewise commit ourselves to the goal of achieving civilized discourse amid multiple and varied perspectives on a range of issues affecting our country.

“We affirm that all manner of falsehoods and lies have no place in a civilized society that thrives on respectful and meaningful discourse, notwithstanding the multiplicity of opinions being voiced by all parties involved.”

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For PPI partners, a celebration of kinship

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For PPI partners, a celebration of kinship

By Tess Bacalla

For partners of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), the print media continues to play a major role in conveying information to the public that helps make their lives better and public engagement on key issues possible. This, amid the widespread use of social media that has threatened the viability of the traditional media, not least of which is print, and spawned hoax news and other forms of misleading information using digital technologies and today’s virtual platforms.

At the recently concluded 21st Annual Press Forum of the PPI, also known as the national association of newspapers in the country, partners including LafargeHolcim, a major player in the global cement, concrete, and aggregates solutions industry, highlighted the value of their partnership with PPI in pushing for public awareness of vital information.

The forum, held May 24-25 at H2O Hotel in Manila, brought together representatives of PPI’s member newspaper, comprising mainly provincial or regional dailies and weeklies, and several major dailies. It also marked PPI’s 53rd anniversary.

Nerissa Villarico-Ronquillo, vice-president and head for communication and corporate affairs of LafargeHolcim, said her company is looking “beyond providing construction materials” in keeping with the company’s battlecry: Help communities “build better,” highlighting media’s role toward this end.

The conduct of the Sustainable Construction Reporting Seminar over the last two years and the Journalism Awards for Sustainable Construction Reporting have been the highlights of the Lafarge-PPI partnership, which she says will continue.

The Asian Institute for Journalism and Communication, PPI’s partner in the annual Civic Journalism Awards, plans to review the two-decade old recognition program for community newspapers, and possibly even expand it to include the other Southeast Asian countries, said the organization’s president Ramon Tuazon, who has also served UNESCO in various capacities.

PPI’s annual press forum this year is themed “ASEAN@50: Beyond the Headlines.” The regional bloc turns 50 on August 8 and is chaired this year by the Philippines.

Tuazon, who is also the secretary-general of the Asian Media Information and Communication Centre (AMIC) took the opportunity to announce AMIC’s ongoing as well upcoming programs, including an international conference, titled “Rethinking Communication in Resurgent Asia,” which will be held on September 27-29 at Miriam College in Quezon City.

Dr.  Crispin Maslog, veteran journalist and noted mass communication professor and author who graced the PPI occasion, announced that AMIC, which he co-founded, has transferred its office from Singapore to the Philippines.

Maslog is the author of the recently published book, Martial Law Jokes atbp: Stories I Couldn't Share Under Marcos' Dictatorship.

Barbie Atienza, president of the United Print Media Group (UPMG), an organization of print media and publication companies in the Philippines, addressed the issue of whether the print media is now a dying industry, as many posit it to be. It is “very much alive and growing,” he declared. He affirmed UPMG’s commitment to press freedom and responsibility.

Atienza said that the print media, which he says values accurate, timely and credible content, has the power “to inspire, inform, and empower the people.”

This ties in neatly with the traditional media’s responsibility to combat the spread of fake news — now a global scourge of social media.

PPI has on an ongoing roadshow tackling fake news as part of its scholastic outreach program. Vera Files, an independent media organization, has joined PPI in this timely effort.

At PPI’s industry forum Vera Files editor Avie Olarte walked that audience through her media outfit’s ongoing fact-checking project, which looks into the veracity of statements issued by public officials and posts its findings on its website. Vera Files has joined PPI, through its fact-checking initiative, in the latter's ongoing scholastic program, titled “Let’s Get Real on Fake News.”

This activity has generated positive feedback from the students, she said. To date PPI’s anti-fake news campaign among students has been conducted in three universities in Luzon and another venue in Metro Manila. Select universities in Visayas and Mindanao will follow suit.

While the objectives of fact-checking are not new in the newsroom, Vera Files trustee Ellen Tordesillas said the project challenges officials to be careful with their public statements, lest they be fact-checked and be proven wrong. “Journalism is about the truth and not just using creative imagination,” she said.

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PPI announces winners of 2016 Civic Journalism Awards

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The Philippine Press Institute (PPI) closed its 21st National Press Forum by announcing the winners of the 2016 Civic Journalism Awards, held Thursday at H2O Hotel, Manila.

The winners, who received trophies and cash prizes were as follows:

Best in Photojournalism: Daily - Edge Davao (Mindanao), Weekly - Baguio Chronicle (Luzon)

Best in Environmental Reporting: Daily - Edge Davao (Mindanao); Weekly - The Mindanao Cross (Mindanao)

Best in Business and Economic Reporting: Daily - Sunstar Bacolod (Visayas); Weekly- Baguio Midland Courier (Luzon)

Best Editorial Page: Daily - The Freeman (Visayas); Weekly - Baguio Midland Courier (Luzon)

Best Edited Community Newspaper: Daily - Edge Davao (Mindanao); Weekly- Baguio Midland Courier

The awards night was hosted by Cecile Lardizabal of CNN Philippines.

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Probe issues, ditch superficial coverage of ASEAN — Myanmar journalist

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The media must strive to bring more substantive stories to their audiences on issues affecting the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and its member states.

Speaking Thursday at the 21st National Press Forum of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), Saw Yan Nang, a senior reporter at The Irrawady, an independent media organization in Myanmar, said the media, in their coverage of the regional bloc, must go beyond regional meetings and similar events. He believes that they should provide more relevant content and generate probing stories that could be the basis of government actions addressing some of the issues hobbling the region such as cross-border illegal drug trade.

It’s when media stories generate an impact on the lives of people that they become effective,” said Saw, one of two guest speakers at the forum, at H2O Hotel at the Manila Ocean Park in Manila.

PPI’s two-day annual forum, which opened on May 24 and highlighted the commemoration of its 53rd anniversary, was themed “ASEAN@50: Beyond the Headlines.” The yearly event brings together representatives of PPI's member newspapers, currently pegged at 65.

Saw was born in war-torn, eastern Karen state in Burma, which he, along with his family eventually left to seek refuge in neighboring Thailand, where he studied journalism and availed himself of similar programs that honed his writing skills.

He said the media should tackle stories involving ordinary civilians such as on instances of discrimination against migrant workers crossing borders to other Southeast Asian countries. He broached the idea of members of the region’s national media joining forces or doing collective stories that tackle issues common to their countries.

Despite allegations of a rigged election, the military-backed ruling party, and introduced some political reforms, paving the way for the return of exiled activists and journalists, and including publications that were heretofore based elsewhere, including The Irrawady.

He recounted that media reports, including in Southeast Asia, on the murder of 11 Chinese crew in the Mekong River in October 2011 drew global reactions and led to a crackdown by the Chinese government on drug trafficking.

Yet another case in point, he said, is the Associated Press story on the use of slave labor in Southeast Asia’s fishing industry, which supplies seafood to the US market. Written by a team of journalists, including one from Myanmar, the story was read by global audiences and led to the release of more than 2,000 enslaved fishers.

Within the region, Saw rued that despite meetings by ASEAN leaders to address this matter, the drug problem persists in the region, highlighting the need for concrete measures, he said. Drug trafficking, for instance, in the opium-producing Golden Triangle, which covers Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos, persists.

Yang said his country now enjoys relative press freedom since the advent of political reforms in Myanmar (formerly called Burma), which was ruled by a junta and had chafed under decades-long authoritarianism. Before the military ceded power in 2010, the local media could not tackle sensitive issues, especially political ones, resulting in a number of newspapers becoming veritable mouthpieces of the administration. Censorship remains to some extent in his country.

Myanmar’s de facto leader Aung San Suu Kyi, a Nobel Peace Prize laureat, was elected to the parliament in the 2010 — the same year she was released from15 years of house arrest.

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PPI’s keynote speaker highlights media’s role in promoting awareness of ASEAN

Photo by Rogine Rogelio
Photo by Rogine Rogelio

PPI's keynote speaker highlighs media's role in promoting awareness of ASEAN

By Tess Bacalla

Despite its perceived weaknesses and differences among its individual member states, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) share common values that have led to cooperation toward the achievement of certain collective aspirations.

Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo, who had represented the Philippines to ASEAN, spoke about the strengths, alongside the weaknesses and challenges still confronting the regional bloc, as keynote speaker in the just concluded 21st Annual Press Forum of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), which also marks this year its 53rd anniversary.

Media can play a role in helping the public better understand ASEAN through more substantive stories, she said.

Until ASEAN was established, the countries in the region had not forged unity. “We were neighbors, but we were not united,” she said.

ASEAN was created through a declaration and strengthened by a charter, she said. It was originally composed of five countries — namely, Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines — which did know each other, each with its own culture, religion, and colonizers, she said.

Before ASEAN, there were organizations like Southeast Asian Treaty Organization, whose aim to prevent communism from gaining ground in the region, and the Manila Accord between the Federation of Malaysia, Philippines, and Indonesia, which she did not prosper.

Without ASEAN, “I don’t know what Southeast Asia would be,” Manalo pointed out.

Ambassador Manalo served as advisor to former President Fidel V. Ramos in 2006 as Philippine Eminent Person on the negotiations of the ASEAN Charter and chaired the actual negotiations of the said charter in the following year. She is principally credited with pushing for the inclusion of human rights provisions in the ASEAN Charter.

In April 2015, she completed her term as the Philippine Representative to ASEAN Intergovernmental Commission on Human Rights. In June 2016 she won a seat in the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (or CEDAW) during elections held at the United Nations headquarters in New York City.

With ASEAN’s successes, Manalo said it can continue to strive for its priorities like achieving a people-oriented and people-centered region; and promoting peace and stability guided by the United Nations and ASEAN charters.

She noted though that while the ASEAN charter guarantees human rights and fundamental freedoms, the majority of its members are still authoritarian.

This year’s theme of the PPI’s annual forum is “ASEAN@50: Beyond Headlines.” The regional grouping will turn 50 on August 8 and is chaired by the Philippines this year.

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Dureza calls on media to help advance peace

Photo by Rogine Rogelio
Photo by Rogine Rogelio

Amid the raging tension in Marawi City, presidential peace advisor on the peace process Jesus G. Dureza highlighted the role of the media in helping calm down the situation and quell misinformation, which stokes terrorism fears and plays into terrorists’ agenda.

In his dialogue with the media on Wednesday, during the opening day of the Philippine Press Institute’s two-day Annual Press Forum at H2O Hotel in Manila, Dureza said the media play a critical role in pushing forward the government’s peace efforts through accurate, factual, and inclusive reporting.

Photo by Rogine Rogelio

He said that the government’s ongoing peace negotiations with rebel forces comprise only the “small table.” The “bigger table” is where the general public sits and must buy into the peace agenda of the current administration.

Dureza said the media must create “a bigger table” for peace work to yield positive results.

In the same dialogue, Duterte, who served as PPI’s chairman-president until his appointment to his current post by President Rodrigo Duterte, said the government was expecting to complete the draft Bangsamoro Basic Law in time for the opening of Congress’s next regular session in July, when President Duterte will deliver his State-of-the-Nation Address.

Dureza said that the government has reached an unprecedented fifth round of negotiations with the Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army-National Democratic Front, where they have arrived at consensus points that would be finalized between May 27 and June 1.

The agenda includes development initiatives for the people, talks on a bilateral ceasefire agreement, and the proposed agreement on socio-economic reforms.

Photo by Rogine Rogelio

He defended the President’s decision to declare martial law in Mindanao, saying it’s an emergency measure meant to address the breakdown of civilian authority in the beleaguered capital city of Lanao del Sur, which members of the extremist Maute group, known to have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State, attacked Tuesday afternoon.

He said the violent assault, specifically against public facilities, has led to a huge exodus of Marawi residents toward nearby Iligan City in Lanao del Norte.

Dureza lauded the response of the local government of Iligan, as well as concerned  private citizens, for the humanitarian support extended to the fleeing residents. He called this a “silver lining” in the cloud that’s worthy of media coverage.

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PPI elects new set of officers

Photo by Rogine Rogelio
Photo by Rogine Rogelio

Marking its 53rd anniversary as the country’s premier association of newspapers, the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) elected a new board of trustees on Tuesday, at the opening of its two-day annual press forum in Manila.

The election was held during PPI’s annual membership meeting, one of the highlights of the yearly event, held at H2O Hotel at the Manila Ocean Park.

The commemorative press forum, now on its 21st year and which will conclude tomorrow, May 26, is themed “ASEAN@50: Beyond the Headlines.” As in previous years, it bringst together representatives of PPI’s member publications, comprising mainly community newspapers and a number of national dailies.

The newly elected regional trustees are Alex Rey Pal, publisher and editor-in-chief of MetroPost, which is circulated in Dumaguete City and Negros Oriental; and Dalmacio Grafil, publisher of Leyte Samar Daily Express, West Leyte Weekly Express, and Eastern Samar Bulletin.

Serving their second and final year as PPI trustees are Amalia Cabusao, editor-in-chief of Mindanao Times; Joenald Rayos, publisher and editor-in-chief of Balikas, which is circulated in Batangas; Sonia Daoas, executive director of the Cordillera News Agency; Adrian Amatong, editor-in-chief of Mindanao Observer; and Allan Mediante, editor-in-chief of Mindanao Daily News.

Mediante was elected to take over the post vacated by Atty. Salvador Diputado as vice-chairperson of the PPI Board and who was one of the trustees for the Visayas. Diputado is now the regional executive director of the Department of Agriculture (Region VII). Cabusao and Rayos remain secretary and treasurer, respectively, of the PPI Board.

Alfonso G. Pedroche, editor-in-chief of Pilipino Star Ngayon, was re-elected chairperson-president of the PPI. Completing the board is PPI executive director Ariel Sebellino. Other PPI trustees come from select member newspapers, namely, Manila Standard, Journal Group of Publications, Philippine Daily Inquirer, Malaya, and BusinessWorld.

Publishers, editors, and other representatives of PPI’s member publications pose for a group shot at the opening of the 21st Annual Press Forum on May 24 at H2O Hotel at the Manila Ocean Park.

Ambassador Rosario G. Manalo is this year’s keynote speaker of the PPI annual press forum. She, along with an ethnic Karen journalist from Myanmar, will address the PPI members and guests on Thursday. The annual Civil Journalism Awards will also be given out on the final day of the PPI press forum.

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PPI 21st National Press Forum

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The board of directors of the Philippines Communication Society (PCS) participates in the covenant signing led by trainers Tess Bacalla and Ariel Sebellino to highlight the campaign of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) and Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) to stop fake news at the NCR leg of the seminar series at the Philippine Information Agency (PIA). This was attended by 123 journalism and communication students and educators from various schools in Metro Manila, information officers, and PCS members. The last for Luzon will be conducted in Malolos City on May 16 at the Bulacan State University.

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