The Manila Times’ correspondent Jefry Tupas won the top prize of the European Union Peace Journalism Awards for his article “The Teachers of Raja Muda,” which he published as a reporter for Davao City’s NewsDesk.
No less than the delegation of the European Union to the Philippines together with its partners congratulated Tupas at the awards ceremony at Hotel InterContinental Makati, along with fellow grand finalists Jes Aznar, Mindanews (photo essay) and Stella Estremera, Sun Star Davao (written text in print media).
Tupas received an all-expenses paid trip to Brussels where he will meet with peace interlocutors in September.
Launched following the historic signing of the comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro, the EU Peace Journalism Awards jurors included EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux, Bangsamoro Transition Commission Chairman Mohagher Iqbal, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Chairman Rowena Paraan, Mindanao State University-Institute for Peace and Development’s Mark Torres.
As a judge, Ambassador Ledoux stressed the importance of the media 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.
“Let me take this opportunity to reiterate the commitment of the European Union to continue to support the Mindanao Peace Process, both politically and in terms of development assistance. I also confirm that the European Union has responded positively to the request of the Peace Panels for the EU to put in place an Election Monitoring Mission whenever the plebiscite envisaged in the Bangsamoro Basic Law is called,” he said.
The entries were judged on the basis of the following criteria: relevance to the topic, 30 percent; news value/impact, 30 percent; investigative depth, 25 percent; and professional quality and style, 15 percent.
For the written text in print media category, the semi-finalists were Nash Maulana, Inquirer.Net and Philippine Daily Inquirer; Ruji Peter Abat, Sun Star Davao; while for the online category, semi-finalists were Joan Cordero, News Central Ph; Fritzi Rodriguez, Rappler. Jonathan Cellona of ABS-CBN News was adjudged semi-finalist for the photo essay category.
Froilan Gallardo of Mindanews received the Philstar.com’s Choice, a special award, while Gigi Grande, ABS-CBN; Bernardino Testa, Interaksyon; Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler; Gianna Francesca Catolico and Cristi Ilagan, Plaridel (De La Salle University) received special citations for their articles. The winners received trophies, gadgets and certificates.
Prior to the awarding ceremony, Jason Gutierrez, multi-awarded freelance journalist and former president of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines together with Aznar and Tupas participated in a forum “Peace Journalism: The Way Forward.” The forum was attended by campus press, media practitioners and members of the civil society organisations involved in peace building.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP), which initiated a sub-contest for government communicators announced that deadline for submission of entries for this category has been extended. Details will be announced in the OPAPP website.
Collaborators and partners of the EU Delegation to the Philippines for the EU Peace Journalism Awards include the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process; Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue; National Union of Journalists of the Philippines; Institute for War and Peace Reporting; Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology; Konrad Adenauer Asian Center for Journalism Ateneo de Manila University, The Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines, philstar.com and Center for Community Journalism and Development. The Awards were also supported by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkasters sa Pilipinas and Philippine Press Institute.
Tupas has been a correspondent for The Manila Times since May 2014, and has most recently covered Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte’s activities in relation to his possible presidential bid in 2016.