His legacy lives on

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The board of trustees, members, and secretariat of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) are saddened by the passing of media icon and seasoned newspaper man Amado 'Jake' P. Macasaet who was a long-time chairman-president of the PPI from 1996 to 2012.

He represented Malaya in the board as publisher. He was conferred chairman emeritus in 2013, the first and only recognition so far bestowed by the institute to a former chairman.

"He is a great loss to the industry and will be missed for sure," noted Al Pedroche, PPI's current chairman.

Sir Jake was instrumental in making sure that the 54-year old organization sticks to its mandate and "not be used by anyone or any politician or organization".

Ariel Sebellino, PPI executive director remembers Sir Jake as straightforward. "He doesn't like so much or many frills in our events. When I introduced some, he would say, 'Anong kaartehan na naman 'yan, Ariel. Pero maganda naman.' These are just some of his unforgettable lines," Sebellino reminisced.

He worked with him for 16 years, preparing reports for him and 'coaching' him spiels for his remarks in PPI's big events.

Sir Jake was a staunch advocate of decriminalizing libel, among other matters that sorely affect the media.

Allan Mediante, PPI vice-president also recalled his fondness for Sir Jake. "For the first time during his time, we were able to do our board meeting and oathtaking as officers outside Metro Manila. At first we thought, he did not want to fly. But he agreed that we hold it in Cagayan de Oro," Mediante said.

Presidential Adviser on Peace Process Jesus 'Jess' Dureza mused that during the turnover of chairmanship to him by Sir Jake in 2013, the latter declared during the annual membership meeting, "you're in good hands".

PPI staff also had funny moments with him. "Nakakatuwa siya. Malakas lang talaga boses niya pero maalaga. Favorite niya ang ginataang tilapia pag board meeting namin sa office," Nemy Joquiño said. She usually calls Sir Jake to remind him of PPI events.

"Sir Jake's legacy wil live on. I will always remember his reminders to me, usually during pep talks as we puffed together," Sebellno added.

The Philippine Press Institute condoles with the Macasaets.

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Digging Stories That Matter (Surigao and Baguio Leg)

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DIGGING STORIES THAT MATTER. The seminar-workshops in Surigao City (first photo) for Mindanao leg and Baguio City (second photo) for Luzon-NCR leg on January 2018 complete the media training series on covering the extractive industries organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) in partnership with the Philippine Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (PH-EITI) Secretariat. Fifty-nine journalists from PPI-member publications and other media outfits and platforms attended all three workshops that kicked off in Cebu City in December 2017 for the Visayas leg.

The second phase of the partnership will be submission and approval of story proposals with corresponding grants amounting up to P20,000.00. (Photos by Kier Labrador and Rogine De Mata Rogelio/PPI)

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FINAL SALVO: Let’s Get Real on Fake News

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FINAL SALVO. Silliman University in Dumaguete hosted the last of the seminar series on "Let's Get Real on Fake News" and led the signing of the covenant in the fight against disinformation. A total of 170 attendees from various schools packed the audio-visual theater of the university's College of Mass Communication. The communal thumbs down opened the program and the signing closed it. The Philippine Press Institute (PPI), also known as the national association of newspapers conducted the seminars with support from Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC) in line with its scholastic outreach and civic journalism programs. Vera Files provided the presentation on fact-checking. (Photos by Kier Labrador/PPI)

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Digging Stories That Matter (Cebu Leg)

PPI-DOF photo after seminar

Print and broadcast journalists from all over Visayas participate in the first of the workshop series and media fellowship on covering the extractive industries titled "Digging Stories That Matter" in Cebu City from December 6 to 9 organized by the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) in partnership with the Philippine Extractive Industries Initiative (PH-EITI) Secretariat. The last two workshops will be conducted in January 2018 in Surigao City and Baguio City. (Photo by Kier Labrador/PPI)

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PTFoMS backs OSG move to appeal CA ruling on Reyes

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MANILA -- The head of the Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) on Thursday said it supported the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) in initiating an investigation to find the “stench” with regard to the Court of Appeals’ (CA) decision to release former Palawan Governor Joel Reyes from detention due to insufficiency of evidence in the Ortega murder case.

Solicitor General Jose Calida on Tuesday said the appellate court's decision to clear Reyes of charges for allegedly ordering the murder of radio host and environmentalist Dr. Gerry Ortega “stinks” and that he would conduct an investigation to “find out where the stench came from.”

In a Palace briefing, PTFoMS executive director Usec. Joel Sy Egco said the task force shared the same sentiment.

He pointed out that the OSG was one of the member agencies of PTFoMS, an inter-agency task force created under President Rodrigo Duterte’s Administrative Order No. 1 (AO 1) for the purpose of monitoring all cases of media killings and mobilizing all member agencies in order to attain justice for the family of slain journalists and media workers.

“The PTFoMS will do all within its powers and will perform all legal and appropriate actions and ask our media partners ... for support in order to find out where the stench really came from with regard to the release of former Governor Reyes to the detriment of a slain journalist,” Egco said.

He said the belief that the decision stinks was also shared by the Ortega family and their lawyers during their meeting following the CA decision.

Their belief is rooted on the previous Supreme Court decision upholding the jurisdiction of the lower court in determining probable cause, and that the CA justices who voted for the release of Reyes may be held administratively liable for going against the SC.

"So ito iyong nakikita namin na possible. I’m not saying that this is going to happen. But it depends on the interested parties, in this particular case specifically the family. Kung gusto nilang mag-pursue, may interes sila sa kaso. They may do so. But we are of that belief," Egco said.

In the meantime, the Palace official said the CA decision is an “unwelcome development,” calling it “a nightmare from where we all should wake up.”

“It sets a bad precedent to cases of similar nature. It sends a chilling effect not only to the families of victims but even to us, to those at the frontline against the problem of media killings,” he said.

“Natatakot ako dito, ako personally. We are on the frontline of the fight against media worker killings. Napakahirap maghanap ng witness, ang hirap mag-file ng kaso, ang hirap magpahuli ng suspect, ang hirap mag-monitor ng kaso sa Korte, ang daming kung anu-ano. And then sa isang iglap biglang mawawala. What about the other more than 100 cases that we’re handling? So that’s my, kumbaga iyong primal fear,” Egco said.

As such, the head of the task force on media security said that he had already prepared a formal request for Calida to take charge and find way to effectively reverse the CA decision.

“We give our full trust and confidence to the office of the Solicitor General to effectively seek a reversal of this nightmare… of this, according to (Presidential Spokesperson) Secretary (Harry) Roque in the past few days, which is a travesty of justice,” he said.

“Hindi lang ano, kailangan ma-reverse ito. Because as I said, for me this is a nightmare and kailangan pagtulung-tulungan natin ito otherwise natatakot ako na bumagsak iyong ibang mga ganitong klase ng kaso. Hindi magandang example,” Egco said. (PNA)

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