Manila Standard publisher Rolando Estabillo was elected as the new chairman and president of the Philippine Press Institute.

Estabillo took the helm from former Ang Pilipino Star Ngayon editor-in-chief Al Pedroche, who described the PPI as the “most untainted media organization” in its 55 years of existence.

Estabillo, who was elected unanimously by representatives of print publications from Mindanao, Visayas, Luzon, and Metro Manila, thanked the members for their trust and confidence in his leadership.

Former Corporate Secretary Amelia Cabusao (Mindanao Times) was elected Vice President, while Joenald Rayos (Pahayagang Balikas) was reelected Treasurer and Dexter See (Herald Express) was elected as Corporate Secretary.

Reelected as Regional Trustees were Rayos and See for Luzon; former PPI Vice President Alex Rey Pal (The Dumaguete Metropost), and Dalmacio Grafil (Leyte Samar Daily Express) for Visayas; Cabusao and Adrian Michael Amatong (The Mindanao Observer) for Mindanao.

Pedroche, during the annual membership meeting of the national organization of newspapers at Hotel Jen in Pasay Thursday, commended the secretariat of PPI, led by Executive Director Ariel Sebellino.

He likewise thanked PPI’s partners, especially Nickel Asia Corporation (NAC), for continuously supporting responsible journalism, especially the community press.

In his reported presented to PPI members, Sebellino said the organization has consistently pushed for its advocacy to fight disinformation through its scholastic outreach program. It likewise organized three workshops on federalism with the support of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

PPI will host a National Press Forum today (Friday) with the theme ” Governance, Democracy, Media: Building Better Communities.” Former Senator Aquilino Pimentel Jr. will serve as keynote speaker.

Guest speakers include Erwin Caliba, the Chief of Legal, Legislative and Linkages of the Policy Advisory Office of the Commission on Human Rights to talk about autonomy as a mechanism that addresses the exclusion of cultural communities and Christian Monsod to discuss the Puno Federalism.

HSF Resident Representative Gotz Heinicke will also deliver a message.

Cheryl Daytec-Yangot, a lecturer on Indigenous Peoples issues will deliver her reaction while Romel Bagares will synthesize the session.

PPI will cap its 23rd National Press Forum with the 2018 Civic Journalism Community Press Awards.

Vying for these awards are dailies Edge Davao, Cebu Daily News, Sun.Star Davao, Sun.Star. Cebu, Sun.Star Pampanga, Sun.Star Baguio; and weeklies The Mindanao Cross, BusinessWeek Mindanao, The Bohol Chronicle, Metro Post, Herald Express, Baguio Chronicle and Northern Forum.

The board of judges is chaired by Manila Standard News Editor Joyce Panares, AIJC President Ramon R. Tuazon, and NAC Vice President for Communications JB Baylon.

Photos by Kurt Zubieta and Rogine De Mata Rogelio