CITY OF MALOLOS—Lawyers, the police, the military, the Commission on Human Rights, (CHR), the academe, and the church led other community sectors  who joined the Central Luzon Media Citizen Council (CLMCC) to help resolve complaints against erring members of the fourth estate in the region both for their protection and interest and the community sectors hey have aggrieved.

OIC-Governor, Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Central Luzon Atty. Maria Imelda Quiambao-Tuazon canceled an earlier commitment and graced the event held on Friday, Sept. 29 at Oasis Hotel in Clarkville, Balibago, Angeles City.

She commits membership to the Council as part of an organization that will serve the community.

IBP Pampanga President Alejandro Buan with member Angelo Lopez III took oath with the officers and members of the Council. Atty. Julius Victor Degala from Bulacan IBP and Jo Clemente of IBP Tarlac who were unable to attend because of earlier commitments sent their pledges and their membership to the CLMCC.

Police Major Aileen Rose Stanger, Public Information Office (PIO) chief of Police Regional Office 3 and Major Jimson Masangkay, Division Chief, Public Affairs Office of the 7th Infantry Division of Philippine Army based in Nueva Ecija also took oath as members.

CLMCC, just like all the rest of the Media Citizen Councils in the country the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) and the International Media Support (IMS) group have initiated to be established, is a multi-sector community-based group which will address abuses, malpractice and any other wrong doings of media members in our region with an aim to rather resolve the issue within the council to avoid resorting to other means against the media members while maintaining to uphold press freedom and harmony between and among all members of the community.  

Ariel Sebellino, Executive Director of the PPI said the council stands on five Core Values: “What is your sense of purpose, is it a felt need, how will it serve your community, is it beneficial to media, its stakeholders and the citizenry and how will it enable media accountability and self/co-regulation?”.

Similar councils were formed and are continuously being established in other regions and provinces in Luzon Visayas and Mindanao. CLMCC is the second regional council established this year.

Joyce Panares, managing editor of Manila Standard and PPI Training Director said the basic thrust and principle of the council is to have the aggrieved parties from the community sector to sit down first and talk about the mistakes the media members have committed before bringing them in court.

Carmela Reyes-Estrope, Correspondent of Philippine Daily Inquirer in Bulacan and publisher of News Core Bulacan print and online news and also the immediate past president of the Central Luzon Media Association (CLMA) who heads the CLMCC with Vic Vizcocho Jr., the newly elected CLMA president and now vice president of the Council and all the media and community sector officers and members of the group took their oath and commitment before journalists in the region.

“We do solemnly swear before you that we  will do our tasks, duties, obligations and responsibilities in helping addressed complaints that warrants legal actions against our rank that are brought to our attention by sectors in our community who were aggrieved from our news and articles in print, radio and or TV and online platforms so that it may rather result and be settled amicably and peacefully both for them and our protection and interest,” the oath said.

Estrope said the CLMCC is not a selective but an inclusive organization that will also be a platform to help resolve concerns or complaints of media members against their news sources and the community sectors both for the interest of the two parties.  

She added the Council being a self-governing body will not close its doors in also trying to address issues and bickering between media clubs and within their respective members. “We will render this function in any peaceful, harmonious and legal way possible that we can,” she said.

Others who took oath as media Council officers and members were Erick Silverio, of Manila Times from Bulacan, printBilly Nuqui of Bulgaran newspaper, Tarlac, printNeth Carlos, Nueva Ecija, printAlma Ochotorena of News Syndicate Digest, Pampanga, printJude Briones, Tarlac, printMel Ciriaco of DWNE, Nueva Ecija, broadcast KBP—Rogie Pangilinan of Newsline Central Luzon 103. 1 FM, Pampanga and KBP — Aileen Cuevas-Sanchez, station manager of Radyo Bandera, Zambales-Olongapo, represented by reporter Yshmaela Abrera.

Council members Fred Fausto of Tarlac Weekly Post and Jason De Asis of Radyo Singko and RTV Baler 92.1 FM were unable to attend.

Semi-Media representative in the region, Dyan Grace Crespo- faculty and Head for Print Media, Media Affairs, Bulacan State University (BulSU) took her oath. Mark Anthony Mianda, faculty Wesleyan University of the Philippines and president CLMA Nueva Ecija Chapter, another semi-media representative of the region however failed to attend due to tight engagements.

Crespo also represented the academe sector.

Other officers and members who took oath were Masangkay, Stanger, Police Major Randy Gomez, chief of Tarlac Provincial Police Office Public Relations Office who represented Tarlac Provincial Police Director PCol. Erwin SanqueLouis David, Regional Information Officer of the National Commission for the Indigenous Peoples (NCIP) Region 3 office headed by Regional Director Atty. Roland P. Calde and Atty. Hanna Rosario from the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Region 3 office under Atty. Leorae Valmonte.