June 18, 2008
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines greets with great relief the safe release of journalists Ces Drilon, Jimmy Encarnacion, Angelo Valderama and university professor Octavio Dinampo.
We thank all those who helped secure their safe return, especially Indanan Mayor Alvarez Isnaji, Vice Governor Lady Ann Sahidullah and Senator Loren Legarda, the military and police, and our colleagues who offered prayers of hope and the media outlets that kept close tabs on the unfolding crisis.
But even as we welcome back our colleagues, we also urge everyone in our profession to reflect on this incident as a sober reminder of the risks we constantly face as we go about our work.
If anything, the kidnapping of Ces, Jimmy and Angelo highlights a continuing problem within the industry that adds to the external dangers and threats to press freedom, and that is the responsibility of media owners and outfits to ensure the safety and welfare of those they send into the field, even into the line of fire, to deliver the news to our audience.
We urge everyone in the industry, from correspondents to media owners, to soberly reflect on this problem and come together to address this issue. We owe it to ourselves, to our families and to our audience.
Jose Torres Jr., Chairperson
Rowena Paraan, Secretary Genera
June 18, 2008