By NATHANIEL FABIAN
CAUAYAN CITY, Isabela — Journalists in Isabela and Cagayan provinces organize local chapters of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) here and in Tuguegarao City this March 7 and 8, respectively.
NUJP, is a nationwide lateral guild committed to protect the interests of Filipino working press. The union institutes fraternal relations among media workers and gives services that include legal assistance, media safety desk, professional trainings, research projects and alliance work. It has also staunchly campaigned for the liberty and defense of Filipino press freedom – the freedom of expression and of assembly, and continues to advocate against impunity and killing of journalists.
Currently established with 62 chapters nationwide, NUJP is for the first time organized in Isabela and other Cagayan provinces.
On March 3, the first batch of journalists from across Cagayan Valley were given a basic media safety training duly conducted by NUJP and United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Journalists reported harassment such as threats to life and family of the radio reporters, broadcasters and television reporters.
The first elected chairpersons in Isabela and Cagayan are Bobby Daguio, station manager of 92.9 Brigada News FM based here, and in Cagayan, Shelida “Lida Pattung” Blando, veteran journalist and news anchor of DZCV Tuguegarao, was elected chairperson of the local chapter last March 8, significantly on International Working Women’s Day.
Though she was entering her senior citizenship, she bravely assumed the position and light-heartedly expressed, “once a mediaman, always a mediaman.” Local correspondent Jhames Paredes of Northern Dispatch Weekly was likewise elected secretary-general of the NUJP Cagayan chapter.
The establishment of both chapters were facilitated by Melvin Gascon, correspondent of Inquirer.net, as a current Northern Luzon director and Chairperson of the earlier NUJP chapter in Nueva Viscaya. # nordis.net