Last August 27, 2006 I spoke before colleagues in the press on the developments of press freedom and defamation. Here is a published article on that event:
PAPI Media Summit tackles killings, libel
The spate of killings of Filipino journalists and libel took centerstage as community newspaper publishers and editors all over the country gathered last August 25, 2006 in a three day “Media Summit” in Kadapawan City, North Cotabato.
Sponsored by the Publishers’ Association of the Philippines (PAPI) and Governor Manny Pinol, a long time journalist before he entered politics, the three-day media summit tackled the serious threats to lives of journalists in the wake of a spate of killings of media persons.
The publishers and editors attending also gained updates on the latest legal developments on press freedom and defamation.
Leading the PAPI during the three day affair was Publisher Johnny Dayang, current Chairman and President. The speakers included Governor Manny Pinol, Roy Mabasa, President of the National Press Club, PNP Chief Director Gen. Oscar Calderon, represented by PNP regional director Dario, and other practicing journalists.
The associate editor of the Negros Chronicle and PAPI director, lawyer Elmar Jay Dejaresco, gave updates on the developments in libel law, particularly the recent decisions of the Supreme Court.
Dayang, PAPI Chair emphasized the need for community journalists to confront these major issues affecting their vocation.
He viewed the recent murders of media persons and the harassments against journalists through the filing of libel suits as two of the main concerns faced by newsmen.
Governor Pinol, a former journalist practicing in Manila before entering politics, said there is a need to define who the real journalist is.
He said just because a journalist is killed does not mean it is a media killing.
The killing could have been a result of motives other than in pursuit of the vocation. Roy Mabasa, President of the National Press Club extolled the PAPI for its continuing initiatives in updating newsmen through workshops.
He said the National Press Club will schedule a similar workshop for Manila based newsmen and invited the speakers to provide similar updates.