The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) elected a new set of officers last November 11, 2008 after its former chairman, Mr. Jose Torres Jr. was removed from office for violations of the NUJP’s By-Laws and The Journalist’s Code of Ethics .
Mr. Torres was found to have personally solicited money from a source for his personal use. The decision was reached after hearing the allegations against Mr. Torres and after he presented his explanation and defense for his action.
The National Directorate believes that the act violates the NUJP’s By-laws, specifically Article II Section 1 which states that among the objectives of the organization is:
“c. To raise the standards of journalistic ethics toward the end goal of securing press freedom and protecting the integrity of the working press in the country.”
Mr. Torres also violated The Journalist’s Code of Ethics, specifically:
“V. I shall not let personal motives or interests influence me in the performance of my duties, nor shall I accept or offer any present, gift or other consideration of a nature that may cast doubt on my professional integrity; and
“XI. I shall conduct myself in public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword.”
Mr. Torres was removed from office by the National Directorate based on Article XI Section 11 of the NUJP By-Laws which states that: “Any officer of the organization may at any time be removed from office upon affirmative majority vote of the Directorate having a quorum.”
His membership was also canceled as provided in Article IV Section 9 of the NUJP By-Laws which states that: “The Directorate may cancel membership for any of the following causes:
b. Violations of the Code of Ethics, after due process shall have been exercised
d. Any act or acts, covert or overt, inimical to the interests of the Union and the working press
We are issuing this statement to dispel rumors, erroneous assumptions and in response to queries from friends of NUJP, media organizations and allies on an internal organizational matter.
It was a difficult process and the decision was a painful one to make. But it had to be made if the principles of the NUJP and the hard work and sacrifices our members have put in to make our union the foremost organization of practicing journalists in the country are to mean anything at all.
The new set of officers effective November 10, 2008 until 2010 are: Chairperson: Nestor Burgos Jr. (Iloilo correspondent, Philippine Daily Inquirer);. Vice Chairperson: Jaime “Nonoy” Espina (editor, inquirer.net); Secretary-General: Federico “Sonny” Fernandez (editor, ABS-CBN); Deputy Secretary-General: Joseph Alwyn Alburo (senior desk editor, GMA-7); Treasurer: Rowena Carranza-Paraan (NUJP Safety Office coordinator, PCIJ research director); and Auditor: Marlon Ramos (reporter, Philippine Daily Inquirer).
The other members of the National Directorate include: Julie Alipala (Zamboanga correspondent, Philippine Daily Inquirer), Desiree Caluza (Baguio correspondent, Philippine Daily Inquirer), Cheryll Fiel (managing editor, Davao Today), Jovencio “Jun” Godoy Jr., chair of the NUJP-Ozamiz City Chapter and program supervisor of DXOC, John Heredia (program host, Filvision Alto Cable-Capiz), Danny Lucas (desk manager, ABS-CBN), Arnell Ozaeta (reporter, DZMM and Philippine Star), Ilang-Ilang Quijano (features editor, Pinoy Weekly) and May Rodriguez (freelance journalist).
Nestor P. Burgos
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