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    Posted May 9, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Eye on the Philippines

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    Over 1,000 Manila Journalists Pause From Beating Deadlines, Vote In Festive Media Election


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     invictus1819 shot these photos and video of the May 6 elections in Manila for the National Club of the Philippines, a media organization for journalists, writers and broadcasters in the country. 'Last Sunday's election was a short respite for the deadline beaters, sort of serving to charge one's energy, unwind, refresh, and de-stress. A time to renew friendship. Sort of,' he said. 'Philippine media remains vibrant, said to be among the freest in the world. Murder committed against journalists in the country have not dampened the enthusiasm of most of the media practitioners.'
    - jmsaba, CNN iReport producer

    Video and photographs:

    Bands Face Off:

    Two bands hired by journalists' parties compete for voters' attention.

    n1: Huge streamer of winning party's bet for National Press Club president.

    n1b: The NPC building all covered with posters screaming bets' names.

    n3: Gettting voter's ID.

    n5: NPC outgoing president Jerry Yap reporting on his two-year reign's achievements, including a housing for journalists.

    n6: Candidates and voters in a general assembly before voting.

    n8: Journalists await their turns to cast their ballot.

    n9: One of the media voters in front of NPC building.

    MANILA, May 6 -- Over 1,000 of the Philippines' journalists, with some coming over from the provinces, paused from beating deadlines on a very hot Sunday and participated in a media political exercise, which turned out to be as much festive as the Filipino nation's month of May festivals.

    The media election was for the new leadership of the National Club of the Philippines (NPC), oldest media organization in the Philippines.

    Pitted against each other were the Press Freedom Party (PFP) bannered by Benny Antiporda for president, and his running mate, Manolo Purificacion, and the Media Reform Movement (MRM) led by Percy Lapid for president and Amor Virata for vice president.

    Other NPC positions contested are for secretary, treasurer, auditor, and 10 directors. Each party had a complete slate in the political contest.

    Amidst the searing heat of a Sunday sun, journalists from print, radio, and television – the tri-media – including those from broadsheet and tabloid dailies, the two parties hired bands in a face-off to attract attention for their candidates.

    It was really a festive atmosphere, with many enjoying the competitive spirit, also made livelier by one of the party’s group of dancers gyrating to the beat of the ear-piercing drums.

    It was mainly a friendly contest but did not lack for drama, either.

    Aping the real politicos, candidates of PFP and MRM also had the usual goodies, such as souvenirs for the voters like hats, fans for the hot temperature, T-shirts, bars and packages of detergent soaps, etc.

    The journalist voters had a field day collecting the souvenirs gladly given by the candidates, some of them going home with a bag full of goodies.

    Before the casting of votes started at past 1 p.m., outgoing NPC President Jerry Yap delivered a report of his two-year administration.

    NPC elections are held once a year; but sometimes an election maybe postponed for another year.

    A heated argument erupted, with Willie Espiritu, one of MRM's bets for director, seeking explanation over the handling of an NPC fund amounting to about P6 or P7 million (US$15,000, more or less).

    Yap explained about the handling of the fund, asking those who were doubtful to go to a proper forum for their grievances over the money.

    Though there was a call to defer the political contest, it went through nevertheless.

    After the smoke of the journalists' intramural politics cleared, the winners are:

    President – Antiporda;

    Vice President – Purificacion;

    Secretary – Louie Logarta;

    Treasurer – Jerry Yap (outgoing president);

    Auditor – Rey Gonzalo;

    Directors – Mina Navarro, William Depasupil, Alvin Murcia, Ronniel de Guzman, Arlee Calab, Paul Gutierrez, Joel Egco, Ma. Kristina Maralit, Nats Tabong, and Boying Abasola.

    It appeared Antiporda’s PFP swept the NPC election. Antiporda is serving as NPC president for the second time. #

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