Bloody milestone

NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES

Statement
March 11, 2009
Reference: Nonoy Espina, vice chair

February 23, 2009 should be remembered as a milestone, albeit not a happy one, in the recent history of the Philippine press.

On that day, Ernesto Rollin of Oroquieta City became the 100th journalist to be killed in the Philippines since 1986, when we were supposed to have regained our democracy.

100 deaths, meant to silence men and women whose calling was to serve the people’s right to know; 100 deaths that expose as a mockery government’s claims to being a democracy.

100 deaths that, at the same time, are a testament to the determination of the members of the independent Philippine press, who continue performing their duties despite all the attempts to stifle them, including through the ultimate censorship.

In a democracy, life is held sacred and rights inviolable. In a democracy, free expression and opinion, including or, rather, especially the contrary, are valued. For it is in the arena of free discourse that democracy thrives.

And surely a democracy would never suppress the truth.

Unfortunately, aside from the regular lip service it pays, and the predictable creation of mostly useless task forces, government has done practically nothing to stop the killings and other assaults on journalists and bring the perpetrators, including masterminds, to justice.

Especially not this administration.

Not only have more than half the murders – 64 of 100 – happened during its watch, this administration is the only one since the unlamented Marcos dictatorship, that has actually attempted the wholesale muzzling of the press, as it did with its threats of takeover during the short-lived state of national emergency in 2006.

More often than not, when reminded that its inaction and apathy to the killings is akin to tacit approval of these atrocities, this administration has often resorted to blaming a lack of ethics and professionalism among journalists, as if these justified the loss of lives and government’s failure to protect its citizens.

And it is only in this administration that a presidential spouse has deigned to undertake his own large-scale harassment of the press by filing multiple libel cases against more than 40 journalists without a peep from the chief executive.

We continue to mourn our 100 fallen colleagues, deprived of justice, even as we hail them as martyrs to our continuing struggle for genuine freedom of the press and expression.

We vow that their deaths shall not be in vain, that we who remain shall not waver, in the face of continued threats and assaults and government’s failure or refusal to protect its citizenry, in our duty to deliver to our audiences the information so crucial to shaping their individual and collective future.

Let us remember the fallen 100:

1986 (3)
Pete F. Mabazza
Manila Bulletin
1986 – April 24

Wilfredo “Willy” Vicoy
Reuters
1986 – April 24

Florante “Boy” de Castro
DXCP/General Santos City
1986

1987 (6)
Dionisio Perpetuo Joaquin
Olongapo News
1987 – April 12

Narciso Balani
DXRA / Davao City
1987 – Aug. 27

Rogie Zagado
DXRA / Davao City
1987 – Aug. 27

Leo Palo
DXRA / Davao City
1987 – Aug. 27

Martin Castor
Pilipino Ngayon
1987 – Aug. 28

Ramon Noblejas
DYVL/Tacloban City
1987 – Aug. 28

1988 (3)
Noel Miranda
Mindanao Scanner
1988 – March 29

Ruben R. Manrique
Luzon Tribune/Bataan
1988 – Aug. 12

Josef Aldeguer Nava
Visayan Life Today/lloilo
1988 – 0ct. 30

1989 (2)
Severino Arcones
DYFM-Radyo Bombo/ lloilo
1989 – 0ct. 17

Eddie Telan
Newscaster/Manila
1989 – Dec. 0I

1990 (2)
Reynaldo Catindig Sr.
Northern Sierra Madre Express/Isabela
1990 – May 15

Jean Ladringan
Southern Star/General Santos City
1990 – July 08

1991 (1)
Nesino Paulin Toling
Panguil Bay Monitor/ Ozamiz
1991 – April 14

1992 (4)
Danilo Vergara
Philippine Post
1992 – July 01

Ladjid Ladja
Prensa Zamboanga
1992 – JuIy 03

Rev. Greg Hapalla
DXAS/Zamboanga
1992 – Sep. 21

Gloria Martin
DXXX/ Isabela Basilan
1992 – Dec. 30

1993 (3)
Romeo Andrada Legaspi
Voice of Zambales
1993 – Jan. 11

Rosauro Lao
Cotabato News
1993 – Nov. 22

Ding Sade
Cotabato News
1993 – Nov. 22

1994 (-)
1995 (-)

1996 (2)
Ferdinand Reyes
Press Freedom/Dipolog City
1996 – Feb. 12

Alberto Berbon
DZMM / Manila
1996 – Dec. 15

1997 (3)
Evelyn Joy Militante
GMA Channel 2 / Legazpi City
1997

Daniel J. Hernandez
People’s Journal Tonight / Manila
1997 – June 03

Regalado Mabazza
Polaris cable network
1997 – Dec. 17

1998 (4)
Odilon Mallari
DXCP / General Santos City
1998 – February

Rey Bancairin
DXLL / Zamboanga City
1998 – March 29

Nelson Catipay
DXMY/ Cotabato
1998 – April 16

Dominador “Dom” Bentulan
DXGS / General Santos City
1998 – Oct. 30

1999 (1)
Frank Palma
Bombo Radyo / Bacolod
1999 – April 25

2000 (2)
Vincent Rodriguez
DZMM / Pampanga
2000 – May 23

Olimpio Jalapit
DXPR / Pagadian City
2000 – Nov. 17

2001 (4)
Rolando Ureta
DYKR / Kalibo, Aklan
2001 – Jan. 03

Muhammad Yusop
DXID / Pagadian City
2001 – Feb. 24

Candelario Cayona
DXLL / Zamboanga City
2001 – May 30

Joy Mortel
Mindoro Guardian
2001 – May 31

2002 (3)
Benjaline “Beng” Hernandez
CEGP / Davao
2002 – April 05

Edgar Damalerio
DXKP, Zamboanga Scribe /
Mindanao Gold Star, Pagadian City
2002 – May 13

Sonny Alcantara
Kokus / Celestron Cable TV
San Pablo City
2002 – Aug. 22

2003 (7)
John Belen Villanueva Jr.
DZGB /Legazpi City
2003 – April 28

Apolinario “Polly” Pobeda
DWTI / Lucena City
2003 – May 17

Bonifacio Gregorio
Dyaryo Banat / Tarlac
2003 – July 8

Bonifacio Gregorio
Dyaryo Banat / Tarlac
2003 – July 8

Rico Ramirez
DXSF/Butuan City
2003 – Aug. 20

Juan “Jun” Pala
DXGO/Davao City
2003 – Sept. 6

Nelson Nadura
DYME/Masbate City
2003 – Dec. 2

2004 (13)
Rowel Endrinal
DZRC/Legazpi City
2004 – Feb. 11

Elpidio “Ely” Binoya
Radyo Natin
General Santos City
2004 – June 17

Roger Mariano
DZJC-Aksyon Radio/ Laoag
2004 – July 31

Arnnel Manalo
DZRH/Bulgar/Batangas
2004 – Aug. 5

Jonathan Abayon
RGMA Superadyo
General Santos City
2004 – Aug. 8

Fernando Consignado
Radio Veritas / Laguna
2004 – Aug. 12

Romy Binungcal
Remate / Bataan
2004 – Sept. 29

Eldy Gabinales (Eldy Sablas)
DXJR-FM / Tandag, Surigao del Sur
2004 – Oct. 19

Gene Boyd Lumawag
MindaNews / Jolo, Sulu
2004 – Nov. 12

Herson Hinolan
Bombo Radyo / Kalibo, Aklan
2004 – Nov. 13

Michael Llorin
Freelance photojournalist/ Manila
2004 – Nov. 13

Allan Dizon
Freeman Cebu and Banat News
Cebu
2004 – Nov. 27

Stephen Omaois
Guru News Weekly / Kalinga
2004 – Dec. 1

2005 (10)
Edgar Amoro
Freelance broadcaster
Pagadian City
2005 – Feb. 2

Arnulfo Villanueva
Asian Star Express Balita
Naic, Cavite
2005 – Feb. 28

Romeo Sanchez
DZNL, Baguio
2005 – March 9

Marlene Garcia Esperat
The Midland Review / Tacurong City
2005 – March 24

Klein Cantoneros
DXAA-FM / Dipolog City
2005 – May 4

Philip Agustin
Starline Times Recorder / Dingalan, Aurora
2005 – May 10

Rolando Morales
DWMD-Radio Mindanao Network, South Cotabato
2005 – July 3

Ricardo “Ding” Uy
DZRS-AM Sorsogon City
2005 – November 18

Robert Ramos
Katapat, Laguna
2005 – November 21

George Benaojan
DYDD, Cebu City
2005 – December 2

2006 (13)
Rolly Cañete
DXPR, Pagadian City
2006 – January 20

Graciano Aquino
Central Luzon Forum, Bataan
2006 – January 21

Orlando Mendoza
Tarlac Profile / Tarlac Patrol
2006 – April 2

Nicolas Cervantes
Surigao
2006 – May 2

Albert Orsolino
Saksi Ngayon
2006 – May 16

Fernando “Dong” Batul
DYPR Puerto Princesa, Palawan
2006 – May 22

George Vigo
Union of Catholic Asian News (UCAN), Kidapawan City
2006 – June 19

Macel Alave-Vigo
DXND Kidapawan City
2006 – June 19

Armando Pace
Radyo Ukay dxDS Digos City
2006 – July 18

Ralph Ruñez
RPN 9, NCR
2006- July 28

Prudencio Melendrez
Saksi Ngayon, Metro Manila
2006- July 31

Ponciano Grande
The Recorder and Nueva Ecija Times
2006- December 7

Andres “Andy” Acosta
dzJC Aksyon Radyo Ilocos Norte
2006- December 20

2007 (5)
Hernani Pastolero
Lightning Courier Sultan Kudarat
2007- February 19

Carmelo Palacios
Radyo ng Bayan Nueva Ecija
2007- April 18

Dodie Nuñez
Katapat Cavite
2007- May 21

Vicente Sumalpong
Radyo ng Bayan Tawi-Tawi
2007- June 25

Fernando “Batman” Lintuan
dxGO Aksyon Radyo
2007- December 24

2008 (7)
Benefredo Y. Acabal
Pilipino Newsmen Cavite-Bulacan
2008- April 7

Marcos Mataro
UNTV 37 Manila
2008- April 27

Bert Sison
DZAT-AM Lucena City
2008- July 1

Martin Roxas
RMN DYVR – Roxas City, Capiz
2008- August 7

Dennis Cuesta
RMN DXMD – General Santos City
2008- August 9

Arecio Pagrigao
Radio Natin – Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental
2008- November 17

Leo Luna Mila
Radio Natin – Northern Samar
2008- December 2

2009 (2)
Badrodin Abas
dxCM – Radyo Ukay
2009- January 21

Ernie Rollin
dxSY-AM – Oroquieta City,. Misamis Oriental
2009- February 23

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