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Angry leaders of different media groups and reporters in the city burn a streamer hanged near the Press Freedom Monument where journalists gathered yesterday morning in time for the celebration of the Press Freedom Week in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental. The streamer subjected the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and the College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines to red-tagging along with several non-media organizations. See story on page 2. (photo by Joey Nacalaban)

Journalists condemn red-tagging anew

NUJP Cagayan de Oro chapter president Pamela Orias (center) condemns the people behind a streamer red-tagging their organization during the opening of the 37th Press Freedom Week in the city yesterday. Photo by Cong B. Corrales

MEDIA practitioners here condemned the latest red-tagging of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) as they opened the week-long Press Freedom Week yesterday.

A streamer tagging the 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, here.

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 (COPC) 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 7 am 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.

As of press time, no group has come out to claim responsibility for the red-tagging. (nujp cdo)

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TREND MAKER. Mindanao Gold Star Daily was established in 1989 to set ablaze a new meaning & flame to the local newspaper business. Throughout the years it continued its focus and interest in the rural areas & pioneered the growth of countryside journalism.

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