It’s one voice from the press and the citizens although as to the non-media component, members don’t represent the total community.
When an issue is raised before the Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC), it is first studied by a small panel (usually with Cebu Media Legal Aid lawyers when a legal question is involved) before a draft is written and circulated among members and advisers.
Feedback is considered in the rewriting of the draft or drafts to come up with a version that reflects a consensus.
Then, CCPC takes it up at an en banc session where resource persons are heard before further changes are made and the vote is taken.
News stories report the gist of the resolution while the full text is published in newspapers and posted on the CCPC website (www.cebucitizenspresscouncil.org). Copies are mailed to national media organizations and government or private offices affected by the CCPC action.
Do they listen to CCPC? Sometimes they do, with results shown on changes of law or policy. More important is that media and citizenry speak out as one and can’t be deemed in default on vital issues that concern the press and its public. Pachico A. Seares
Resolution opposing legislated right to reply, Dec. 14, 2007:
“Pointing out that whatever lapses of journalists under the right to reply are being corrected by the press’ own mechanisms, such as in-house codes of standards and ethics and citizens-press organizations, … the Cebu Citizens-Press Council … expresses its vigorous opposition to pending proposals to legislate and criminalize the right to reply, as they infringe on press freedom and are unnecessary, impractical, and open to abuse.”
Resolution supporting some elements of libel decriminalization, including the provision to limit the venue of libel for community journalists, March 24, 2008:
“The Cebu press, comprising both print and broadcast, supports the provisions in the said bills: Removing the penalty of imprisonment from the crime of libel; Keeping libel as a crime but retaining only the penalty of fine; … limiting the venue of libel to the court of the province or city where the principal office of work and business of respondent journalists is located; … exempting from liability any editor, publisher, newspaper or station manager, or news director who has not reviewed the alleged libelous material before printing or airing.”
Resolution urging journalists to reject subpoenas and summonses from local legislatures to explain published news or opinion, June 30, 2011:
“Local legislatures have not been granted by the Local Government Code the power to issue compulsory process and the power to punish for contempt and any such subpoena or summons would be ‘ultra vires’ and therefore null and void. … Journalists are accountable for what they write or broadcast to their publishers and editors or station owners and news directors and to their public, not to public officials who may be aggrieved by the publication.”
Resolution objecting to particular provisions of the “Anti-Tabloid Ordinance of 2011,” renamed “Anti-Obscenity Ordinance,” Dec. 6, 2011:
“Cemla (Cebu Media Legal Aid) has found those provisions to be constitutionally offensive as they constitute prior restraint and violate due process of law since, Cemla submits, the AOB (Anti-Obscenity Board) has no authority to inspect and investigate printed materials and neither has the governor the authority to seize and confiscate materials they find to be obscene: —Obscenity, the Supreme Court has always ruled, is an issue that is ‘proper for judicial determination….’ It is not for the board or the governor to determine obscenity.”