President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Wednesday, February 12, led the oath-taking of newly elected officers and Board of Trustees of the Kapisanan ng mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP), vowing to protect the rights and safety of media practitioners.
Wednesday’s event reaffirms the important role of the broadcast media in shaping a nation’s progress through responsible dissemination of news and information to the people, President Duterte said in his speech.
“Throughout our history, we have seen how mass media in the Philippines has shown its vital role in promoting awareness on various social issues, disseminating critical information and mobilizing for public action in times of natural disasters and calamities, and in ensuring accountability in government and other social institutions,” he said.
The President hailed the KBP for its commitment to elevate the standards of broadcasting, help promote positive social change, disseminate information on development efforts, and foster improved business practices within the industry and its stakeholders.
He then assured the media organization that his administration, “will uphold the equal protection of your rights and your safety in the performance of duties”.
The President cited Administrative Order No. 1 he signed in October 2016 that created the Presidential Task Force on Media Security.
He also mentioned in his speech the decision of the Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 221 on the Maguindanao massacre, where 32 media workers were killed.
“Such a decision, which is currently under appeal, was considered as an unprecedented accomplishment in the history of the worldwide campaign against impunity,” he said.
The Chief Executive also expressed optimism that Philippine media will continue to stand by the principles of truth, responsibility and fairness, “even as you seek to redefine and strengthen your relevance in this rapidly changing age of information”.
The President also stressed that while the Constitution upholds the freedom of the press, the function to broadcast is a privilege granted by government to media organizations.
“It is imbued with the best interest of the nation and our people,” said the President, adding that his administration will not tolerate any abuse of such privilege.
At the same time, the President urged the KBP’s newly elected officers and Board of Trustees to lead the broadcasting industry in the country “with a stronger dedication of your shared task of nation-building”.
“I trust that you will use the power of media to inform, entertain, educate and persuade to promote the welfare of the people,” he told the officials.
The KBP is a non-government, non-profit organization of the broadcast media in the Philippines, according to its website. PND