The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines mourns the passing of veteran journalist and staunch press freedom advocate Jose L. Pavia.

Joe as everyone calls him, died at 5:25am of complications from lung cancer this morning at the UERM Hospital. He was 72 years old.

The NUJP salutes Joe who has always worked with a big heart for the cause of community newspapers as he was one of their own. Joe was the publisher and editor-in-chief of the Bulacan-based Mabuhay news weekly. He has also worked for various news organizations including SunStar Pampanga. He was also the executive director of the Philippine Press Institute up to his death.

The NUJP will forever remember Joe as a staunch press freedom advocate. He not only served as the chairman of the Board og Trustees of the Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists or FFFJ but he was also its anti-impunity project coordinator.

As it is, Joe was particularly outspoken against violations versus press freedom. The NUJP has always counted on his presence in major gatherings and activities on press freedom issues. Despite his failing health lately, Joe never hesitated to speak against the enemies of press freedom in the country.

He was also indefatigable in the campaign against the killings of journalists, never failing to attend to the court hearings of the cases against the killers and their masterminds.

Joe was also a founding member of the November 23 Movement which was formed after the Ampatuan Massacre on November 23, 2009.

His death leaves a gnawing void in the community of press freedom lovers that have been fighting against the culture of impunity in the killings of journalists in the Philippines since 1986.

The NUJP offers its prayers to Joe and his family. We enjoin his friends, colleagues, NUJP members and all press freedom lovers to pay our last respects to Joe at his wake in Arlington Chapel in Araneta Avenue, Quezon City.

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