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Alert broadcaster thwarts ‘warrantless arrest’ attempts by soldiers

A former station manager of a Bukidnon radio station frustrated attempts by government soldiers to bring her to their military camp without a warrant.

Members of the 1st Special Forces Battalion of the Armed Forces of the Philippines harassed former Radyo Lumad station manager Kristin Lim since Saturday, August 3, and even engaged village leaders to convince  her to give herself up, to no avail.

Soldiers on board a military truck arrived at Lim’s home in Damilag, Bukidnon at 8:30 Saturday night and “invited” her to their camp for “questioning.” They were led by a 1st Lieutenant Baquial.

Lim refused after Baquial failed to present a warrant of arrest or a “valid and clear reason,” the Rural Missionaries of the Philippines in Northern Mindanao Region (RMP-NMR) said in an alert.

The troopers, however, were back early Sunday morning, insisting that Lim surrender herself.

The RMP-NMR said the soldiers were using the same tactic they used in the so-called capture of civilians Gloria Jandayan and Gleceria Balangiao who were later presented by the battalion as fake New People’s Army surrenderees.

The soldiers later asked members of barangays council to help convince Lim to be “summoned” to the military camp because of “her knowledge of the Left.”

Lim still refused, the RMP-NMR reported, agreeing to a dialogue only in the presence of a legal counsel.

RMP-NMR added that Barangay chairperson Jun Torres eventually agreed with Lim and in turn told the soldiers that they can summon her at the village hall as long as her safety is assured.

Other members of the council and the homeowners’ association also demanded that soldiers stop visiting their village on board military trucks as “the soldiers make it look like they are pursuing a dangerous criminal or terrorist.”

Red-tagged

Lim was hired as Radyo Lumad station manager in July 2018 until its temporary closure in January this year “due to threats and harassments.”

Radyo Lumad was located in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon, a community radio station focused on reporting on indigenous peoples’ rights and welfare.

The radio station was part of RMP-NMR’s Healing the Hurt Project with the European Union and the World Association for Christian Communication.

(Disclosure: Kodao Productions was hired as training partner of the Radyo Lumad Project.)

Lim said the radio station decided to temporarily close due to persistent threats and harassments against its staff.

Earlier this year, Lim was among those red-tagged in flyers distributed in Cagayan de Oro City along with lawyers, journalists, church workers, indigenous peoples’ leaders and activists. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

Int’l group launches book on Philippine community broadcasting

ENTEBBE, Uganda–The International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) launched a book on community radio broadcasting in the Philippines, narrating its nearly three-decade history and laying down the challenges it faces in one of the most dangerous countries for journalists in the world.

Entitled Amplifying the People’s Voices: The Philippine Community Radio Experience and Challenges, the 72-page book was launched by its President Violet Gonda and Philippine Chapter head Jola Diones-Mamangun in Kampala, Uganda during the group’s regional conference.

The book chronologically narrates how community radio broadcasting in the Philippines started in the 1990s as well as the problems it faces to this day.

Produced for IAWRT by its Philippine chapter, the book also recounts how current broadcasting laws in the country make it difficult for low-power radio stations to acquire franchises and licenses from government institutions.

Gonda said radio is one of the oldest and important forms of media in communications.

“A number of our members represent the various tiers of radio – public, private and community. The Philippine chapter has been pioneering a project, the Mobile Disaster Radio, which is the need of the hour – with the problems of climate change, regular cyclones, floods, earthquakes and tsunamis which have become a part of our life,” Gonda said.

“This project targets vulnerable communities to prepare them better for the unseen disasters, from risk to preparednes. It began in 2014, and  is giving voice to the voiceless and empowering women to be prepared and reduce loss to lives and properties,” she added.

Through IAWRT funding, the chapter has managed to set up transmitters in the most disaster prone communities and provided computers, cables, mobile phone units for the reporters and training and mentoring exercises to empower the local communities in various provinces in the Visayas region.

The book recalls how one of the first community radio stations, Radyo Cagayano, was attacked and burned by unknown persons, suspected to be members of the Philippine Army, in 2006, setting back the planned establishment of more stations by several years.

The Philippines is deemed by Reporters Without Borders, the International Federation of Journalists and other global media groups as among the most dangerous countries for journalists, with 184 media workers killed since the supposed return of democracy in the country in 1986.

The majority of media workers killed are provincial broadcasters, as the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said in several of its reports.

However, Diones-Mamangun, also IAWRT International treasurer and Kodao Productions executive director, said the book is less about the campaign’s problems but more about its successes despite overwhelming odds.

“We want this book’s readers to realize that whatever successes the community broadcasting movement in the Philippines has achieved are due to the communities’ determination to tell their own stories through radio,” Diones-Mamangun said.

“The lesson here is that community radio broadcasting will never happen without the communities themselves.”

Gonda added that IAWRT is happy to have published a community radio handbook to share the group’s journey and for its to learn from experiences.

“There could be no better place than Uganda to release this publication as there is a strong presence of community radio here,” Gonda said.

Aside from Diones-Mamangun, the Philippine delegation to the Uganda conference include IAWRT Philippine chapter vice president Prof. Lynda Garcia and members Walkie Mirana and Lady Ann Salem. #

ASEAN community journalists talk about issues and challenges in Bangkok forum

Bangkok, Thailand Community media practitioners from all over Southeast Asia are holding a four-day workshop and forum in this city from July 10-13, 2017 organized by the CFI Cooperation Medias and Foundation for Community Educational Media.

The forum is a venue for the discussion of issues and challenges faced by community journalists, bloggers and broadcasters and hopes to foster collaborations in the region, the organizers said.

Present are the delegates from the Philippines, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Cambodia, as well as organizers from the French CFI Cooperation Medias.

The delegates shared their views on various issues such as fake news, harassment, red-baiting, censorship and freedom of expression in the plenary sessions,.

Kodao Productions’ Raymund Villanueva was among the first speakers in the forum who talked about the characteristics and business model of alternative community radio stations in the Philippines.

“The alternative we try to present the most is the voice of the suppressed, repressed and oppressed.  We believe they are not voiceless, more so when they are organized.  It is just that they are not being listened to; we are here to help amplify their voices,” Villanueva said in his presentation.

In the next sessions, resource persons from various fields and countries will be tackling community media as bridges enabling social inclusion and links, national minorities, citizen journalism, women’s rights, and the youth.

Alternative journalist and filmmaker Bernadette de la Cuadra of Tudla Productions for her part shall talk about Youth and Community Media tomorrow, the fourth day of the forum.

This will be followed by series of thematic workshops in September and October 2017 and the closing ceremonies in January 2018. # (Edgie Uyanguren of The Breakaway Media for Kodao Productions)

Radyo Tacloban: Podcast on People’s Agenda

LISTEN to the first community radio broadcast of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT) – Philippines’ “Radyo Tacloban” Project, with Kodao Productions and Eastern Vista in Pinabacdao, Samar last July 23.

“Radyo Tacloban” is the provisional name of the first women-led disaster risk and response community radio station project in Eastern Visayas that is being put up in Tacloban City, the hardest-hit city by supertyphoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in November 8, 2013.

The Pinabacdao broadcast’s theme was “Agenda ng mamamayan at unang State of the Nation Address (SONA) ni Duterte” (The people’s agenda and President Duterte’s first State of the Nation Address) anchored by Danny Cordova and Frenchie Mae Cumpio.

 

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Radyo Natin-Guimba serves as model for new community radio stations in the Philippines

Radyo Nation-Guimba (RNG) expressed support for Kodao Productions’ ongoing women-led disaster risk reduction community radio station project in Eastern Visayas with assurances of technical support and competencies.

As one of the most successful and dynamic community radio stations in the country, RNG shared its expertise in establishing an alternative media outfit in the countryside during Kodao’s visit to Guimba last January 14. They were joined by Mr. Ramon Palima Ramirez, a top Filipino electrical engineer and a veteran alternative media practitioner.

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Photo: (L-R) Romie Malonzo, Juan Manuel Herrera, Gie Herrera, Jola Diones-Mamangun, Raymund Villanueva, Engr. Ramon Ramirez and Reggie Mamangun

Kodao visited RNG to study its broadcast and equipment set-up as part of the former’s preparations for the DRR community radio station project in Tacloban City.

The project is supported by the International Association of Women in Radio and Television (IAWRT).

RNG station manager Gie Herrera said that community support is vital in their success over difficulties on matters such as constructing a broadcast tower and popularizing their programs.

RADYO NATIN GUIMBA.Still001

Gie Herrera, Founding member and Station Manager of Radyo Natin Guimba

“When we started in 2004, we explained our objectives to the communities and offered broadcast time to peasants, women, youth, senior citizens, and local entrepreneurs. They responded by patronizing our programs when they realized that this radio stations is for them,” Herrera said.

“We even received technical assistance from the community in putting up our broadcast tower that has withstood strong typhoons this past decade,” she added.

RNG also conducted medical and relief missions during calamities as well feeding programs for schoolchildren as an extension program that further endeared them to the communities.

Aside from their popular local news and public service programs, RNG gained further listenership base when it started broadcasting programs on local culture anchored by both the youth and elderly.

“We try to fill the gap between mass media and the people. We try our best to show the people that mass media should genuinely be in the service of the community,” Herrera said.

RNG is also one of the first community radio stations that broadcast through a local cable TV network.

“May our successes serve as model for the establishment of more community radio stations in the country,” Herrera said.

In the same visit, RNG also expressed interest in joining IAWRT Philippines. RNG’s staff is 80 percent women, including its top management. #