Heroes Hall, Malacañan Palace
November 7, 2016

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte administered the oath taking of 15 newly elected officials of the National Press Club (NPC) in Malacañang.

In his speech, President Duterte emphasized that press freedom in the country is still strong, saying it is thriving and working. He compared it to the press freedom in the United States of America in terms of being free and independent.

He also acknowledged the continued killings of media people in the performance of their job, saying, “Of course, by itself, it is fundamentally hideous and wrong.”

The President called on the journalists and other members of the media to always remain responsible and ethical. He expressed his belief that one of the many factors of media killings in the country is related to corruption and irresponsible reporting.

“It’s more education sa ethics and whatever there is in media. Akin, that’s just a piece of advice,” he said.

The President also reminded the press of their vital role in keeping an informed public and a well-functioning democracy.

“Remember that freedom of the press mostly geared against establishment, the state, and its abuses. And that is why the fourth state is there to fight the abuses of the first and second or third branches of government. You are the fourth,” President Duterte said.

The newly elected NPC officers are Paul Gutierrez of People’s Tonight (President), Benny Antiporda of Remate (Vice President), Joel Sy Egco of The Manila Times (Secretary), Mina Navarro of Balita (Treasurer), and Rolando Gonzalo of UNTV/DWIZ (Auditor).

Likewise, its Board of Directors includes Ma. Kristina Maralit (Sports Illustrated Philippines), Leonel Abasola (Balita), Arlie Calalo (The Daily Tribune), Jean Fernando (Manila Bulletin), Joe Torres (UCANews), Benedict Abaygar (Global News Network), and Jun Mendoza (Philippine Star).

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