The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines – North America chapter joined other writers, journalists and rights advocates on September 12 in launching veteran journalist Ma. Ceres Doyo’s book, “Press Freedom Under Siege: Reportage that Challenged the Marcos Dictatorship.”
The event, in partnership with Filipino Canadian Writers and Journalists Network (FCWJN) and Malaya Canada, is part of a series of activities commemorating the 50th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines.
In a message, Doyo gave a glimpse of her own experiences under the Martial Law, citing a time when after reporting on the killing of Cordillera leader Macliing Dulag, she immediately faced military interrogation.
The book, which won the National Book Award in Journalism in August, is a compilation of stories of journalists, mostly women, pushing boundaries to speak truth to power and uphold the voice of the people. Doyo noted the book serves to stand against whitewashing of the Martial Law era.
During the online launch, NUJP Secretary General Ronalyn Olea spoke on the current conditions of media, tackling the chilling effect on media workers of media closures, libel cases, killings and other forms of harassment, such as the denial-of-service attacks (DDoS), red-tagging and website blocking of alternative media outfits such as Bulatlat.com, Pinoyweekly.org.
Meanwhile, the Philippine Manitoba Historical Society is set to hold its own Martial Law commemoration entitled: “Balik-tanaw: Martial Law at 50”. Jomay Amora Dueck, NUJP-NAM’s secretary general is one of the group’s founders.— En Dela Cruz, NUJP North America