MANILA, Philippines — Peace.
Two MovePH writers, along with other Filipino journalists, were recognized by the delegation of the European Union to the Philippines at the EU Peace Journalism Awards on Wednesday, July 8.
The EU Peace Journalism Awards aims to raise awareness about the impact and value of peace, while also making more Filipinos understand the Bangsamoro peace process. It acknowledges the role of journalists as agents of peaceful social transformation through balanced, responsible, culturally-sensitive and conflict-sensitive reporting.
It was launched following the historic signing of the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.
Voltaire Tupaz’s “Son of a Rebel“ received a special citation. It tells the story of a young man born and raised inside Camp Bilal in Munai town, Lanao del Norte. The government then was unleashing an all-out war on the rebel Moro Islamic Liberation Front.
“In his youth, to fight was his only choice. War was his nightmare, but it was also his source of pride,” read an excerpt from the piece.
The story takes readers deep into conflict, not just on war and peace, but also between father and son. It also helps them understand what the proposed Bangsamoro law is all about.
Fritzie Rodriguez’s “Who are the women in the Bangsamoro Peace Process?“ was a semi-finalist in the online category. The story looks at how peace and gender are interconnected, highlighting that while women are among the most affected in conflict situations, they are also at the forefront of peace-building.
“Their names and faces may remain unknown to most of us, but their voices and efforts are at the center of this long journey to peace,” read an excerpt from Rodriguez’s story.
Jurors included EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux; Mohagher Iqbal, chairperson of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission; Rowena Paraan, chairperson of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines; and Dr Mark Torres of the Mindanao State University’s Institute for Peace and Development.
Davao-based journalist Jefry Tupas of NewsDesk won the grand prize for his article, “The Teachers of Raja Muda.” He received an all-expenses paid trip to Brussels, Belgium, in September where he will meet with peace interlocutors.
Grand finalists included Jes Aznar of Mindanews and Stella Estremera of Sun Star Davao.
The semi-finalists in the print media category were Nash Maulana of the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Ruji Peter Abat of Sun Star Davao. In the online category, another semi-finalist was Joan Cordero of News Central Ph. For the photo essay, it was Jonathan Cellona of ABS-CBN News. Froilan Gallardo of Mindanews also received the Philstar.com’s Choice special award.
Special citations were also given to Gigi Grande of ABS-CBN, Bernardino Testa of Interaksyon, and Gianna Francesca Catolico and Cristi Ilagan of the De La Salle University’s Plaridel.
“Beyond recognizing the role of journalism in promoting peace, the European Union Peace Journalism Awards were also conceived as an encouragement to journalists across the country to seize the opportunity to make a positive contribution to their country,” Ledoux said.
“Their contribution is particularly needed just now as the Philippines takes a decision that will have such an impact of the prospects for peaceful coexistence, development, and prosperity for all the diverse communities that make up this wonderful country,” he added. – Rappler.com