The Philippine government through Presidential Peace Adviser Jesus Dureza urged media practitioners and outfits to take part in the shared responsibility of maintaining peace and security in the country.
Secretary Dureza said in his message at the 22nd National Press Forum of the Philippine Press Institute (PPI) on May 24, 2018 at the Jen Hotel in Pasay City: “The only group that engages the public is media. This is why the role of the media is very important, especially in our peace work. The media have a unique role in peace building that no other group can perform. The media is vital because you address our bigger table almost on a 24/7 basis.”
Secretary Dureza also said “the public will not appreciate the milestones achieved in the peace process if they are informed only after agreements are signed and not while the process is going on.”
“We feel that even if we sign agreements with the MILF (Moro Islamic Liberation Front) and the CPP-NPA-NDF (Communist Party of the Philippines-New Peoples’ Army-National Democratic Front), if the public will not know the basic information and will only learn about it after the agreement was signed, they will not give their support,” Dureza said.
Dureza said while government engages the “smaller tables” of the MILF and the CPP-NPA-NDF, it needs to get the support of the “bigger table” of the public.
Dureza was a veteran journalist before becoming a public servant. he headed the PPI from 2013 to 2016. Aside from the PPI, he also headed media groups like the regional chapter of the Publisher Association of the Philippines and the Davao Press Club.