The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and Karapatan won the two top prizes of the 10th Human Rights Pinduteros Choice Awards for their online campaign and presence in the past year.
The NUJP’s Black Friday Online Protest #NoToABSCBNShutdown garnered nearly 39% of votes among 10 finalists in an online poll held by HR Online PH.
The media group held several online rallies after government-imposed coronavirus lockdowns prevented its burgeoning Black Friday protests on the closure of ABS-CBN from being regularly held since the month of March.
Government attacks of the country’s biggest broadcasting corporation and eventual denial of petitions for a new franchise to operate had been the biggest press freedom and labor rights issue in the country this year.
The NUJP started and led national and global Black Friday protests that gathered participation and support from many sectors, organizations and individuals.
NUJP secretary general Dabet Castaneda-Panelo and this reporter, NUJP deputy secretary general, received the glass trophy at the awarding ceremony in Quezon City Monday, November 30.
Castaneda said in an emotional acceptance speech that the recognition is personal as she is an ABS-CBN employee who witnessed how the majority of the 11 thousand employees of the network lost their jobs.
“But the struggle for ABS-CBN is bigger than its 11 thousand employees and the network itself. This is for the people’s right of choice and right to information,” she said.
Karapatan for its part dedicated its #HumanRights Pinduteros Choice for Website award to human rights defenders killed under the Rodrigo Duterte government.
“This award is dedicated to Ryan Hubilla, Sara Alvarez and all the human rights defenders killed under this government,” Karapatan’s Dindo Roxas said.
Karapatan gathered a whopping 74% of the total votes cast among 10 finalists in the online poll.
“Karapatan’s website had been taken down by hackers, is under constant attack, but it just simply refuses to be denied,” HR Online PH said.
The organizers said nominees were chosen from most-clicked items per category posted on the HRonlinePH.com site while the winners are those with the most number of hits based on WordPress.com statistics from November 2019 to November 2020.
The 10th Human Rights Pinduteros Choice Awards was themed #ShoutOut sa mga hindi natakot magpahayag ng makatotohanan, makabuluhan at may pagmamalasakit sa kapwa. (#ShoutOut to those who did not fear voicing out truth, meaningfulness and concern for others.)
The awarding ceremony was part of the Freedom Of Expression Conference (Freexp.Con4) organized by several human rights organizations and advocates such as the Philippine Alliance of Human Rights Advocates (PAHRA), In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity (iDEFEND), Task Force Detainees of the Philippines, Alyansa Tigil Mina, among others.
It was supported by the British Embassy Manila.
This year’s winners include:
- Off-the-Shelf Category: SOLIDAGRO – Anto sa yugto ng pandemiko, Collected by Rene Boy Abiva
- Video Category: iDEFEND – Lumabas Tayo! Lumaban Tayo!
- Featured Site Category: Ateneo de Manila University Human Rights Center – Online Legal Counseling
- Event Category: PAHRA and iDEFEND – “Human rights groups, grassroots activists and civil society organizations launch protest marking the anniversary of the declaration of martial law”
- Network Post Category: Teachers Dignity Coalition – [Statement] “CHR Spokesperson, Atty Jacqueline Ann de Guia, on the arrest of Cebu film writer Maria Victoria Beltran”
- Blogsite Category: Norman Novio – nanovio.blogspot.com (Minding Mindoro and Beyond)
- Right Up Category: Prof. Jose Mario De Vega – “The coronavirus is the monstrous product of the present nefarious global system”
A special award was given to the Mulat Short Film Project of Far Eastern University’s Department of Communication that encourages the production of films on human rights.
HR Online PH said its Human Rights Pinduteros Choice Awards started a decade ago to encourage organizations and advocates to engage others on human rights through the social media.
“This is our contribution for the defense and promotion of a human rights culture among Filipinos,” the group said.
The awarding ceremony serves as build up event for the annual International Human Rights Day on December 10. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)