CI Chair and Members Sworn-in at National Parliament House

Dili – Five members of the Timor-Leste Press Council have officially been sworn-in by the House Speaker of the National Parliament (PN) to serve four-year office tenure from 2021 - 2025.

Five (5) members of the press council who were sworn-in composed of Virgílio da Silva Guterres (chairperson), Benevides Correia Barros (member), Expedito Dias Ximenes (member), Francisco Simões Belo da Costa (member), and Otelio Ote (member). The swearing-in ceremony was conducted on Wednesday (10/2), at the House of the National Parliament.

House Speaker of the National Parliament Aniceto Longuinhos Guterres Lopes wishing success for the five members of the press council in their four year-term.

“Through this mandate, the press council should motivate the social communication entities and journalists to have a better capacity in managing the quality of information, working professionally with integrity by managing the publication which contributes to promotion of social value, democracy and human rights,” Guterres said in his speech marking the swearing-in ceremony.

Meanwhile, Chairperson of the Press Council, Virgílio da Silva Guterres pledged to continue overseeing and promoting the freedom of the press and freedom of expression in Timor-Leste.
“In this second mandate, all the efforts will be focusing on how to consolidate the press council and the social communication sector through the revision of legal framework, attributing of the definitive professional careers for all the journalists, including monitoring of the media, professional capacity to help improve and enhance technical quality, so that they can rightly comply with the legal perception and ethics being applied for the country’s media,” Mr. Virgilio explained in his speech marking the swearing-in ceremony.

Mr. Virgilio said the Press Council would continue to assure that the freedom of the press and freedom expression in the country well-guaranteed and protected.

“The keyword is freedom, freedom of the press and freedom of expression. By that, the primordial tariff of the press council is to guarantee the freedom of journalists in exercising their duties to guarantee the citizens of the country’s rights to transparent and credible information, as well as to strengthen editorial independence of the media in exercising their functions as social controller. A social Control task, which is based on the democratic society and be subjected to the constitution,” he explained.

Abiding by the Press Law, Article 18, line 2 attributes lists of the five (5) member of the press council by indication of the elected president will publish in the State Gazette. Abiding by the request of the National Parliament, five (5) days after the communication attributes in number 4 of the article 23.  

The Article 18, line 2 States that the members of the Press Council will be sworn by the National Parliament ten days after establishing a communication as mentioned in the previous number.

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