THE National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) lauded Cagayan de Oro’s media workers for their “show of unity against unrelenting efforts to suppress freedom of the press and of expression.”
On Tuesday, the NUJP said the city’s media practitioners did the right thing when they tore down and burned a streamer that named alleged communist front organizations, including NUJP, that was hung on the fence of Cagayan de Oro’s Press Freedom Monument at the capitol-owned Vicente de Lara Park.
“It was clear that we were not the sole media group targeted by this red-tagging operation, something we have been subjected to since late last year,” NUJP said in a statement.
It added that since the incident happened on the first day of Cagayan de Oro’s celebration of Press Freedom Week, “it was intended as a warning to all journalists to go easy on critical reportage and commentary.”
“The response of our colleagues from the different media organizations in Cagayan de Oro was as swift as it was appropriate: they tore the streamer down and set it alight, while vowing to remain united and not be cowed by those seeking to suppress the full exercise of democratic rights,” the statement said.
“At a time when the threats to the profession and our basic rights and liberties continue to worsen, unfortunately abetted by a contemptible few who have chosen to betray the profession of truth, the example set by the media of Cagayan de Oro is proof of what we have maintained all along, that the united community of independent Filipino journalists is capable of holding back the darkness that seeks to engulf us once again,” it said.
On Feb. 22 this year, a list believed to have come from the military tagging church people, human rights advocates, lawyers and former NUJP director Cong Corrales, Gold Star Daily’s associate editor, and his family as “terrorist members of the New People’s Army and Communist Party of the Philippines” was distributed in Cagayan de Oro. (Mindanews)