27 May 2019
A streamer tagging the National Union Of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and other activist groups as allies of the ‘terrorist NPA’ was found draped at the foot of the monument honoring Press Freedom at the Provincial Capitol grounds in Cagayan de Oro.
The other groups similarly branded as ‘terrorists’ are the Union of People’s Lawyers in Mindanao (UPLM), the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), the the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines (RMP), the League of Filipino Students (LFS), the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), the Student Christian Movement of the Philippines (SCMP), and the Confederation for Unity, Recognition and Advancement of Government Employees (COURAGE).
The streamer was found by members of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (CLUB) who gathered at the Press Freedom monument to launch the week-long commemoration of the 37th Press Freedom Week.
The streamer was later set ablaze following a 7am mass attended by members of the COPC.
“We condemn the red-tagging of the NUJP,”club member Uriel Quilinguing, a former president of the COPC as well as a former chairman of the NUJP-Cagayan de Oro Chapter, said.
Quilinguing said the COPC and other media groups in Cagayan de Oro City condemn what they called ‘baseless accusations’ against the NUJP.
Quilinguing called on the media to stay united in the face of threats which, he said is also the theme of Press Freedom Week.
Pamela Jay Orias, chairperson of the Cagayan de Oro Chapter of the NUJP, said a free press is a hallmark of a free and democratic society.
“A critical press serves the public interest and should therefore not be subjected to attacks,” Orias said.
No group has come out to claim responsibility for the red-tagging.
JB R. Deveza
NUJP Safety Officer for western Mindanao