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Sarimanok holds induction

Marawi City

The Sarimanok Press Club (SPC), an aggrupation of press and media practitioners from the cities of Iligan and Marawi and the two provinces of Lanao del Sur and Lanao del Norte, conducted its induction and awarding ceremony at the Marawi Resort Hotel, here, last December 15, 2015 with Presiding Judge Wenida B. M. Papandayan of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 10, Marawi city as keynote speaker and inducting officer.

The inducted officers of the SPC who will serve the press organization for two years, include: Masiding Noor Yahiya, president; Salahaddin Bubong, vice president for Marawi City and Lanao del Sur; Frank Dosdos, Jr., vice president for Iligan City and Lanao del Norte; Hanalee Tan Yahya, treasurer; Noraimah “Rhean” AbdelJaber, secretary; Salahuddin Edres, auditor; Phil Pa-alan, director; Rashid Bangcolongan, director; Hanifa Otical, director; and Rocaya Sumndad Otical Yahya, director.

The awardees include: Regional Governor Mujiv S. Hataman of the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM); Congressman Vicente “Varf” F. Belmonte of the Lone Congressional District of Iligan; and Dr. Amer Saber, Medical Center Chief of the Amai Pakpak Medical Center, Marawi City.

Hataman was awarded for instituting unprecedented reforms in governance that spurred rapid growth and development in the ARMM.

Congressman Belmonte was awarded for being the main author in creating the Lone Congressional District of Iligan City, thereby accelerating development in the city, especially the hinterlands through the completion of the Iligan-Bukidnon Road.

Dr. Saber was awarded for transforming the Medical Center into a world-class hospital and medical center, thus enhancing health services benefitting not only the local populace, but also residents from nearby areas.

Unfortunately, the three awardees failed to receive their awards due to prior equally pressing obligations they had to attend to.

With the theme, “The Fourth Estate of Democracy: Its Indispensable Role in Peace and Security,” the induction and awarding program started off with an invocation led by Salahuddin Edres, followed by the singing of the National Anthem led by Hanalee T. Yahya.

The opening and welcome address was delivered by SPC Vice President Salahaddin Bubong, while the keynote speaker was introduced by Director Rashid Bangcolongan.

In her keynote address, Judge Papandayan stressed that the journalist gathering information in the field has great responsibility.

She said the journalist in the field tries to get the facts and the truth of the incident being covered. She said the journalist investigates to get the truth by validating, verifying and checking the information to ensure that it is accurate before reporting the incident for public consumption. She said when the report is published and picked up by national media, the incident is magnified and enlarged when reported in national media which has greater coverage and audience reach, so if the report has inadequacies, the inadequacies are also magnified and enlarged which may create more harm than good. She said this is a great responsibility of the journalist in the field. She said the responsibility of the journalist in ascertaining facts in the field is the same responsibility observed by judges in ascertaining the truth in legal cases. She said the judge come across with the litigants during hearings and sees their emotions and passions. She said the judge makes all efforts to ascertain the truth so that the judgment will be fair to all litigating parties and ensure that justice prevails. She said when the case is elevated to higher courts, like the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court, the case is reviewed by the higher court based on the transcript of the proceedings and the order of the court, without having the privilege to see the feelings, the emotions, and behavior of the litigants. She said the judge after ascertaining the truth makes sure that the judgment he or she makes is based on existing laws and jurisprudence relative to the case. (See related story)

In his valedictory address, President Yahya humbly accepted the responsibility granted him by the members of the SPC through their unanimous votes of confidence. He said he wanted the SPC members to work on a low profile but as responsible journalists. He said we need a strong media outfit and practicing media workers. He said he wants that media will protect its dignity and integrity, but above all maintain its credibility as media workers. He wanted the affair to be simple but solemn. (See related story)

In her inspirational message, former Assemblywoman Samira Gutoc Tomawis, who is a journalist herself, said that Sarimanok had been adopted by organizations as symbol of Philippine Culture, of royalty, of freedom, and of oneness, as she said that journalists have crucial role to play in the promotion of peace and development. She said the freedom to write must be tempered with reality. She said as new comer kin journalism, she once wrote something almost place her in danger. She said she once wrote about an official with a ‘defective’ appointment order. She said after a few days some people approached her and asked her to rectify her report. She said she denied the request on the belief that she was telling the truth. She said fortunately, the adversely affected official was a close relative and later the disappointment and antagonism of the affected official were deemed by the passage of time.

She said the report placed her in a danger zone. She said journalists should be sensitive of the culture of the community. She said there are incidents that need to be reported but there are also incidents that should not be reported as they may cause more harm than good to the community.

An environmentalist, Madam Samira Gutoc Tomawis said that God created the world and the people are given the responsibility to protect the environment. She said interest of the community takes precedence over and above individual interest. She said journalists should be vigilant and help promote peace and development in communities. She said there are many good stories, but they are not being reported. She said the journalists outside of Lanao have greater freedom to report on incidents in the province because they are away from danger. She said because of culture, economy and government, local journalist faces restrictions in reporting incidents.

For his part, Engr. Acmad Mutia, chief of operations of Lasureco said that Lasureco is doing its best to provide quality service to the people of Lanao. He said the media should serve as partners of Lasureco in providing better power services. He said the media could help enlightened the power consumers on issues affecting Lasureco and help find solutions to the problems.

In his closing remarks, Frank E. Dosdos, Jr., Vice President for Iligan City and Lanao del Norte, thanked the members and guests for joining the affair.

He also thanked the members for their support and cooperation in making the affair a success.

The New Ranao Star
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