By Paul M. Gutierrez, NPC President
FINALLY, the elections are now over.
Specifically for members of the press, our Club successfully held its biennial election last May 1, 2016, coinciding with the annual celebration of ‘Labor Day.’
And as expected, the entire 15-man ticket of the Press Freedom Party swept the NPC poll.
Having won three straight times with not one candidate losing, this latest triumph by our party is already one historic footnote in the 63 years history of the NPC. I am certain this achievement would not be duplicated by any other party at least during this, our, generation.
The Press Freedom Party triumphed not just because of the strong personality of one or two or even of three individuals in the group.
The party triumphed because its members consistently pursued the policy of transparency in governance and personal sacrifice for the benefit of the Club when it is necessary to do so. Or, as we now put it: “Service with Accountability for Freedom of Expression” or SAFE.
This is the slogan that the NPC is now urging all our members to adopt in the light of the (still) “unstable condition” confronting the members of the press with the election last May 9 of Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte as our new Philippine president.
His attacks on the media may have struck a “raw nerve” in our midst although when we come to think about it, there are “truths hidden” in these verbal tirades, especially because of the presence of so-called “hao-shiaos” or fake “journalists” whose activities continue to blacken our profession.
But rather than getting angry at our new president, the better thing for the media to do is to resort to introspection, and having done so, to rise to the “challenge” he has thrown our way by ridding the media’s ranks of misfits and “scalawags.”
With this effort, we are happy to inform everyone that the NPC has been policing its ranks consistently. It is probably the only media organization in the country whose membership continues to shrink rather than expand.
From more than 2,000 regular (voting) members four years ago (when VP Benny Antiporda was president) to a little over 400 members today (or by the time the term of President Joel Egco ended).
These numbers, to my mind, are clear manifestations that when it comes to ridding the media’s ranks of “undesirables,” we are at the forefront—long before President Duterte bared one of the major ills plaguing Philippine media.
And so, with both the NPC election and the national elections over, we are all off to a “fresh start.”
Along this line, I am also pleased to welcome the new additions to the NPC leadership and the Press Freedom Party: Directors Lydia Bueno, Benedict Abaygar, and Joe Torres.
They are positive and qualitative additions to the NPC Board and they add to my confidence that with every Club officer fulfilling their designated tasks, there is no project or activity that the Club cannot accomplish in the next two years.
Of course, our Club continues to be guided by the same reliable officers that have been at its helm for several years now: VP Benny Antiporda, Secretary Joel Sy Egco, Treasurer Mina Navarro, Auditor Rolly Gonzalo, and directors: Boying Abasola, Jun Mendoza, Tina Maralit, Alvin Murcia, Nats Taboy, Jean Fernando, and Arlie Calalo.
While the undersigned shall continue—and expand if possible—the already existing benefits and welfare programs already in place in our organization, we also plan to pursue other endeavors that will make our Club the institution that all members can be truly proud of.