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PAHAYAG: “Di po laro ang pagbabalita, Mr. President!”

Mawalang-galang po, mahal na Pangulo. Sinasadya ng National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) na gamitin ang pambansang wika sa pahayag na ito upang bigyang sapat na halaga ang kaliwanagan sa komunikasyon at tiyakin na mauunawaan ng lahat ang nais naming ipaabot.

Sa inyong panayam sa midya nung Huwebes, muli mong sinabi na “nilalaro” mo kami at “mahilig” kang “magbitaw ng kalokohan.” Kung kaya, pananagutan ng mga mamamahayag ang pagsusuri sa bawat mong salita, kung totoo ba o hindi, at kami ang dapat sisihin kung ‘di tugma ang aming ulat sa mensahe na nais ninyong iparating.

Ipagpaumanhin po ninyo, subalit tuwiran kaming tumututol sa inyong pananaw. Hindi dahil ayaw naming suriin ang inyong mga salita — dahil kasama po ito sa aming gawain — kundi, bilang Pangulo ng Pilipinas, kayo po ang may pananagutan at tungkuling maging malinaw sa lahat ng inyong pahayag sa sambayanan at sa buong mundo.

May mga pagkakataon naman po para sa biro o sa kalokohan. Subalit dahil kayo ang Pangulo, ang inyong mga pahayag sa publiko ay aming itinuturing — at dapat lamang ituring — na patakaran ng inyong pamahalaan. Dagdag pa, marami rin sa inyong masusugid na tagasuporta ang nagtuturing ding atas at utos maging ang inyong mga biro at gamitin ang mga ito bilang dahilan para sa mga karumaldumal na hangarin ng mga kriminal at tiwali sa loob at labas ng gobyerno. Sa ganitong kalagayan, aming kagalang-galang na ginoo, hindi kaya mainam na huwag mo na kaming laruin at bawasan na ang hilig ninyong magbitiw ng kalokohan?

Ipagpatawad po ninyo , mahal na Pangulo, kung amin namang ibinabalik sa inyo ang inyong sinabi: Kung hindi malinaw ang inyong mga pahayag at hindi malinaw kung ito ay biro o seryoso, nasa inyo po at wala sa amin o sa taumbayan, ang problema. Seryoso po kami sa aming gawain at tungkulin naming ituring na seryoso at iulat ng tapat ang anumang namumutawi sa bibig ng Pangulo.

Huwag po ninyong baliktarin ang kaayusan ng pananagutang maging malinaw, Mr. President.

 

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Columnist-publisher is first journalist killed under Duterte

A columnist and publisher is the first media killing victim under the Rodrigo Duterte government.

Larry Que of the two-week old community newspaper Catanduanes News Now died 1:45 a.m. Tuesday after he was shot by a gunman wearing a bonnet and raincoat who then fled on a motorcycle driven by an accomplice Monday morning in Virac.

Que’s murder came after he wrote a column criticizing local officials following the recent discovery of a shabu laboratory in the province.

Que’s column, written in Bicolano, blamed the negligence of local government leaders for the shame the discovery of the laboratory had brought the province.

He also wrote it was likely the Chinese nationals who set up the laboratory had help from Chinese residents of the island province.

Fear

In a statement, the Catanduanes chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philppines (NUJP) said Que’s murder has sown fear within the local media community.

It said a number of journalists fear they might be the next target for their reports on the shabu laboratory, said to be the largest discovered in the country.

NUJP-Catanduanes also said Broadcaster Jinky Tabor revealed she received threats after acting as media witness during the police raid on the shabu laboratory.

Last November 8, Northern Watch columnist and dwPR broadcaster Virgilio Maganes survived a slay try by playing dead after a gunman shot him inside a tricycle he was riding to the radio station in Dagupan City, Pangasinan.

The NUJP said the suspects tried to make the slay try on Maganes appear to be a drug-related hit as the victim saw a cardboard with a “Pusher Ako Huwag Tularan (I am a pusher, do not be like me)” written on it.

“This added dimension to the thankfully unsuccessful attempt on Maganes’ life highlights the increasing risks faced not only by journalists but by most anyone who may be killed with impunity in the name of the government’s war on drugs,” the NUJP at the time noted. (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NUJP Statement: End Impunity; Justice Now!

by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

November 23, 2009 is a day that will forever live in infamy, not only for the Philippine media community, which lost 32 of its own in what is now acknowledged as the single deadliest attack on the press on record, but also the for the country’s body politic, for which the slaughter was the worst incident of electoral violence in the country’s recent history.

The massacre of 58 persons seven years ago on a hilltop in Sitio Masalay, Barangay Salman, Ampatuan town, Maguindanao showcased everything that is wrong in the rotten system of governance and disposition of justice in this country, where clans of warlords, criminal kingpins and corrupt politicians wield virtual powers of life and death in what amount to fiefdoms, their thievery and corruption tolerated by the centers of power that have to court their favors to effectively rule over the archipelago.

It is a testament to how entrenched this system of governance remains that, in a country that never tires of proclaiming itself the freest and most democratic in this corner of the globe, seven years after the orgy of violence, justice remains elusive for the Ampatuan 58 as on the day gunmen commanded by a madman who would brook no challenge to the almost absolute rule he and his kin enjoyed over their poverty-stricken province mowed them down in a hail of fire and steel.

Not even the shock and revulsion with which the carnage was greeted not just here but around the world has served to prod government to ensure that this blot to the nation be erased by the swift administration of justice to the dead and to those they left behind.

If anything, the State, which by rights should have taken on the burden of seeing to the futures of the widows, widowers and orphans of Ampatuan – after all its agents were responsible for this most heinous of crimes – has abandoned most of them, particularly those of our colleagues who were their families’ breadwinners, to lives of misery and uncertainty, reduced to wondering where to get their sustenance from day to day.

One orphan, that of Gina dela Cruz, died of illness because the family could no longer afford the treatment that would have saved its life. And her mother, Nancy wasted away alone after being left with no other choice than to make the grandchildren she could no longer support wards of the state.

This heartlessness of the State, this unconcern for the plight of the people whose grief it is primarily responsible for, is also what feeds the impunity that has emboldened those who seek to silence those brash enough to seek to unveil their abuses. It is, of course, the same kind of impunity that has marked the murders of hundreds more of our compatriots whose only crime was to dare speak truth to oppressive power.

Today, even as we commemorate the seventh anniversary of the Ampatuan massacre, we see a resurgence of threats and assaults on the independent Philippine press fueled by the open contempt and hostility of a leader who would brook absolutely no criticism of his person or his policies, not even if these have opened the floodgates to an orgy of bloodletting unprecedented in its savagery and its utter disregard for the rule of law and human rights.

Seven years after Ampatuan, we fear that the worst is yet to come and the seekers of truth will be faced with ever more danger from those who see our work as anathema to their pursuit of an order built not on compassion but brute force, not on the realities we all face but the distorted picture they would force us to accept.

Yet even as we worry, so do we affirm that these are the best times to be journalists, to be the bearers of the knowledge and free thought that the centers of power would seek to suppress. It is in these times, as in the darkest days of the unlamented dictatorship, that the independent Philippine press is most needed by the people. We do not doubt that the Filipino journalist and the independent media community will prove themselves worthy of the calling. #

Journalists and victims’ kin decry impunity 7 years after Ampatuan massacre

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippine and the families of victims of the Ampatuan Massacre trooped to Mendiola last November 23 to demand justice for the mass murder of 58 civilians including 32 journalists in 2009.

The NUJP demanded a stop to the culture of impunity as it noted that journalists are still being harassed and attacked under the Rodrigo Duterte government.

The NUJP also condemened the slow prosecution of the Ampatuan family and their cohorts in what is known as the worst election related crime in Philppine history and the worst singular attack against journalists throughout the world. Read more

NUJP condemns slay try on Surigao broadcaster; lauds conviction of police officer for murder of Mati radioman

STATEMENT
July 1, 2016

NUJP condemns slay try on Surigao broadcaster; lauds conviction of police officer for murder of Mati radioman

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns the assassination attempt on our Surigao City colleague Saturnino “Jan” Estanio of Radio Mindanao Network-dxRS, which left him, his 12-year old son, and a neighbor slightly wounded. Read more

STATEMENT: On Duterte’s media boycott dare

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines wishes to clarify that it was not the Philippine media which called for a boycott of President-elect Rodrigo Duterte’s press conferences.
For the record, it was the Paris-based Reporters Without Borders (Reporters Sans Frontiers; RSF) that issued the call, one that was, rightly, not heeded by the Philippine media.

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OPEN LETTER: It’s about the culture of impunity in our country!

3 June 2016

Dear President-elect Rodrigo Duterte,

That was quite a mouthful you unleashed on media Thursday night. We do appreciate your reminder that, yes, we journalists are not a uniformly lily-white breed, in fact none of us are, although we would not go so far as to consider ourselves in the same line of work as publicists, for theirs is a totally different field as you yourself pointed out. Read more

STATEMENT: Nothing justifies the murder of journalists!

It is appalling that President-elect Rodrigo Duterte should justify the murder of journalists in the country by playing the corruption card.

In his press conference in Davao City Tuesday, Mr. Duterte issued the broad assertion that “most journalists killed are corrupt.”

“Just because you’re a journalist doesn’t mean you’re exempted from assassination if you’re a son of a bitch,” he said.

“Freedom of expression won’t save you,” he added. “The Constitution cannot help you kapag binaboy mo ang isang tao.” Read more

Statement on the CDO presidential debate coverage

Statement
15 February 2016

nujp-logo

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) shares the concern of our colleagues in Cagayan de Oro over the way limits appear to have been placed on coverage of the first presidential debate on
Feb. 21.
We acknowledge that space limitations inevitably require that admission to the venue of the debate will need to be regulated.

However, we also believe the organizers and hosts of the event should provide a large enough venue where the largest number possible of journalists, both community and Manila-based, may watch and cover the debate through monitors.

We agree with the Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC) that the process of choosing who next to lead the country is so important that every opportunity available to journalists to be able to inform the broadest segment of the public must be optimized.

We hope the organizers of the Cagayan de Oro presidential debate and the local media community would be open to more dialogues to iron out the process of selection and accreditation of journalists who will cover the debate.

We do hope it is not too late for the organizers of the Cagayan de Oro presidential debate to address these issues even as we urge the organizers of the subsequent debates to be held in the Visayas and Luzon to ensure early on that such problems are avoided.

Reference:
Ryan Rosauro
Chairperson, NUJP