The Philippine Daily Inquirer on Thursday signed an agreement with GMA Network, Smart Communications and Philippine Long Distance Telephone (PLDT) company to team up in covering the 2013 midterm elections.
The memorandum of agreement—also signed by the PDI’s online website INQUIRER.net, leading schools and universities, the business sector, and social and civic organizations—calls on all parties to “cooperate and merge respective competencies to have comprehensive, objective and nonpartisan” media coverage of the elections.
Smart, led by its chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan, and PLDT, represented by its president and chief executive officer Napoleon Nazareno, agreed to be the telecommunications provider of the coverage.
The agreement was signed for the Inquirer by Alexandra Prieto-Romualdez, its president and CEO, and for INQUIRER.net by its president, Paolo Prieto.
GMA Network’s chairman and CEO Felipe Gozon said in a speech that the advancement in technology allowed the delivery of information in real time.
“Information now flows fast and free in a world without borders,” Gozon said. “We are in [this partnership] for public service and because of our motivation to do what is right.”
He stressed the media’s role as a watchdog to ensure that the elections were fair.
Paolo Prieto said in an interview that Filipinos all over the world could expect in-depth and real-time information during the elections.
“We are really very excited and we are looking forward to the success of this media coverage partnership with various sectors,” he said.
Fair, credible elections
The agreement calls on the signatories to “work together to implement a far-reaching and thorough all media information campaign aimed at arming citizens/viewers/listeners/readers with ample knowledge to be able to choose wisely and exercise their right to vote.”
The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), represented by journalist Malou Mangahas, the Catholic Media Network, led by Father Francis Lucas, and the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting, led by Henrietta de Villa and Ana de Villa Singson, also signed the agreement. They pledged to provide wider details and context in their coverage of the elections.
Election Commissioner Elias Yusoph, speaking for Election Chairman Sixto Brillantes, commended the collective efforts of the parties to help ensure fair and credible elections.
Other signatories included Ateneo de Manila University, led by Jaime Hofileña; De La Salle University, led by Br. Ricardo Laguda; University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication, led by dean Rolando Tolentino; UP School of Economics, led by dean Ramon Clarete; and University of Santo Tomas.
They agreed to provide insight and analysis to the poll coverage.
AMA Education System, represented by Amable Aguiluz V, will help GMA establish and operate its election quick count system.
Socio-civic organizations and the advocacy groups YouthVote Philippines and RockEd will involve the youth in guarding the votes.
Business and other groups also signed the agreement to express their advocacy for fair elections. They included the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the Chamber of Commerce of the Philippine Islands, as well as the Punongbayan & Araullo tax and auditing firm.
First posted 6:13 pm | Thursday, November 8th, 2012