BAGUIO CITY — Journalists here gathered in an online assembly on July 20, 2021 to revitalize the Baguio chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines after a hiatus of five years.

In a message, NUJP National Chairperson Jonathan de Santos extended his support for appreciation for the reestablishment of the union’s Baguio City chapter, noting incidents of media harassment in the Cordillera region that highlight the need for media workers to organize and work together.

Participants of the assembly unanimously elected Frank Cimatu, a correspondent for Rappler and editor of local newspaper Baguio Chronicle, as the chapter’s chairperson.

Also elected as officers were

Vice Chairperson: Kimberlie Ngabit-Quitasol (Northern Dispatch and Philippine Daily Inquirer)
Secretary-General: Maria Elena Catajan (Malaya)
Treasurer: Brenda Dacpano (Northern Dispatch)
Auditor: Artemio Dumlao (Philippine Star)

Attended by more than 10 participants, the assembly tackled the orientation of NUJP as a formation committed to protecting the rights and welfare of media workers in the country.

Representatives from the national chapter of the union also encouraged Baguio journalists to participate in ongoing programs and projects that primarily serve the interest of the media sector.

NUJP Secretary General Ronalyn Olea discussed the ongoing campaigns of NUJP against press freedom violations and in support of media workers under threat.

In Baguio City, alternative media outfit Northern Dispatch is among of the victims of online red-tagging and of judicial harassment by state forces.

In 2020, Police Brig. Gen. R’win Pagkalinawan, chief of the regional police at the time and who has since retired from police service, filed cyber-libel charges against Ngabit-Quitasol and reporter Khim Abalos, both of Northern Dispatch.  — Khim Abalos, NUJP-Baguio