CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – The city’s largest media organization has expressed indignation over the red-tagging anew of four journalists who have shown their solidarity with the television network ABS-CBN on the possible cancellation of its legislative franchise.
The Cagayan de Oro Press Club (COPC), through its president Mannuel Jaudian, condemned “in strongest terms” the recent red-tagging of Froilan Gallardo, Leonardo Vicente “Cong” Corrales, Joey Nacalaban, and Pamela Jay Orias in a statement released Saturday (Feb. 29).
Gallardo and Corrales sit on the COPC Board of Directors, while Nacalaban and Orias are members of the club.
Orias is also the local chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), one of the groups that had been accused of having allegiance with the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing the New People’s Army (NPA), and the National Democratic Front (NDF).
Gallardo, Nacalaban, and Orias were attending a rally in support of ABS-CBN at the TV network’s regional office in Barangay Bulua on Friday afternoon when a courier delivered copies of bond paper-sized posters that accused them, along with other media practitioners, as members of the revolutionary movement.
The material also targeted NUJP National Chair Nonoy Espina, his sister Inday Espina-Varona, Renwynx “Don” Morgado, a staff at the Misamis Oriental provincial government’s information office, and Loi Algarme, a reporter at Radyo Natin.
The said materials, written in a mix of English and Filipino, were also distributed at the provincial capitol grounds on the same day. Its sides were printed with NUJP’s official logo and sickle-and-hammer, the symbol used by the Communists.
Part of the material reads, “[NUJP] legitimate union of journalist? Or union and mouthpiece, propagandist of the terrorist CPP/NPA/NDF!”
“This cheap black propaganda puts our following members in jeopardy,” the COPC said.
It added, “this kind of propaganda has no place in our democratic society. We ask our police and military to look into this seemingly witch hunt efforts of some misguided elements.”
In previous interviews, Gallardo, Corrales, Orias, and Nacalaban denied having any links with the Communist movement. (davaotoday.com)