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Aug 16th
Home Sections Education & Technology NUJP Disowns Getting “Massacre” Donation
NUJP Disowns Getting “Massacre” Donation PDF Print E-mail
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Thursday, 24 March 2011 19:44



Journal Group Link International)


C HICAGO (jGLi) – The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) has clarified that “it never received nor helped facilitate the release of a $750 Canadian donation from the Philippine Press Club of Ontario for the families or colleagues who perished in the Nov. 23, 2009 Ampatuan Massacre.”


In a statement sent to this reporter, the NUJP National Directorate headed by its chairman Nestor P. Burgos, Jr. and Rowena Paraan said, “We were understandably alarmed when we were informed of a blog entry on Mabuhay Radio ( entitled, “Filipino Press Clubs from Chicago, Sydney and Toronto Donate to Massacre Victims,” by Joseph Lariosa, which said that, "Tenny Soriano, president of the Philippine Press Club of Ontario (PPCO) based in Toronto, said his press group had sent (Canadian) $750.00 to the survivors of the journalist victims through Rommel Rebollido of the Philippine News Agency and Inday Varona, officer of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines."


It added, “our concern stems from the fact that Ms. Varona was former chairperson, and Mr. Rebollido was former director of the NUJP.”


According to NUJP, the money was never coursed through the NUJP or through former chair Varona. Mr. Rebollido has confirmed receiving the money from Ricardo “Ricky” Caluen, a personal friend, who hand-carried the PPCO donation to Manila.


Mr. Rebollido was quoted as saying that “Mr. Caluen coursed the money through him in a ‘personal capacity,’ and not as NUJP representative, because being from General Santos City,” he has the best access to the families of the victims.


The NUJP said that Rebollido “has acknowledged that the funds are still with him.”


Although, the NUJP has worked and continues to work with families of the massacre victims, it is requesting “future benefactors to specify clearly how their donations are made to avoid a recurrence of this incident and to ensure that the donations are promptly turned over to the intended beneficiaries.”


For his part, Mr. Soriano said that he would advise Mr. Rebollido to turn over the PPCO’s donation to the NUJP and he will communicate this advice to both Rebollido and the NUJP.




M eanwhile, Benny Antiporda, former president of the National Press Club of the Philippines, in an email to this reporter, said regarding the Australian$3,480 (123,703.45 in Philippine currency) donated by the Filipino Press Group of Sydney thru Mr. Jaime K. Pimentel, the money totaling 100,000 pesos were given to the survivors of the ten families at 10,000 pesos each.


They were:  1. Delbert MC Arriola, UNTV; 2. Marites Cablitas, News Focus; 3. Gina dela Cruz, Saksi News; 4. Julito Evardo, UNTV; 5. Lindo Lupogan, News Media Gazette; 6. Neneng Montano, Saksi News; 7. Rosell Morales, News Focus; 8. Victor Nunez, UNTV; 9. Ian Subang, Socsargen Today; and 10. Daniel Tiamzon, UNTV; all of General Santos City.


Mr. Antiporda, who is also vice president of Confederation of Asean Journalists, said, “We purposely gave the higher amount of P20,000 to the family of Andres Teodoro, Central Mindanao Inquirer, Tacurong City, as they went out of their way to seek the help of the NPC while those above have already received assistance from other organizations.”

He added, “also, the NPC, thru the undersigned, shouldered the airfare, accommodation and other incidental expenses of then NPC vice president, Rolito Gonzalo and ex-NUJP chairman and Remate Tonight (a national tabloid) editor in chief, Joe Torres, when they went to the ARMM to assist the victims' families.”




He said, “We deem it better that the NPC shoulder these expenses in order to maximize the distribution of the donations we received from our colleagues abroad to the recipients, unlike what other local media groups.”


As for Mr. Bong Reblando (Manila Bulletin), his family received a separate amount of P300,000 (US$6,521.00) from the insurance program of the NPC for its members.” He added that “there is still a balance of 3,703.45 pesos from the A$3,480 donation that the NPC received from our colleagues in Sydney.”


Meanwhile, the family of Bong Reblando has acknowledged receiving the $773 donated by the NPC Phil.-U.S.A. shortly after the massacre.


Mr. Reblando had close ties with the Chicago-based press club for attending the press club’s induction when he was alive.


Because of the small amount of the money raised the club decided to give its donation to the Reblandos. And at that time, the club did not know anybody else from among the victims.


The Chicago Journalists Association headed by Allen Rafalson also donated $100 to the Reblandos and awarded Julia Mae Reblando a $1,000 scholarship. At the same time, when Julia Mae came to Chicago to receive the CJA scholarship, Doctors Nunilo & Elenita Rubio assured Via Times publishers Veronica Leighton & Joe Mauricio to recommend Julia Mae to receive an annual $500 scholarship stipend until she finishes her Journalism/Mass Communication degree in the Philippines, according to Dr. Rogelio Cave of the co-sponsoring Philippine Medical Association of Chicago and the Philippine Auxiliary Clinical Medical Foundation.




On the other hand, Magnus Ag, Advocacy and Communications Associate of the Committee to Protect Journalists, emailed this reporter, saying, “In all, press freedom and children’s groups have channeled about 2.5 million pesos (US$58,000) in donations to the families. The Freedom Fund for Filipino Journalists, CPJ’s local partner, distributed grants of 10,000 pesos (US$230) to each family in the immediate aftermath of the murders. The Freedom Fund, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, and the local children’s foundation ABS-CBN Bantay Bata continue to provide scholarships to all affected children. The Freedom Fund also provides funds for emergency medical assistance. CPJ provides ongoing support for the families’ legal costs and their travel to court hearings.”


For her part, Maria “Nenen” Reynafe Momay, one of the officers of the massacre survivors group, Justice Now, was asking for verifications of who donated and who accepted the donations so Justice Now members so they can thank the donors and also to make sure that the donations were received by the proper parties.


Ms. Momay said there are many people trying to solicit money on the survivors’ behalf but many of them are not authorized to do so.


She said Justice Now could not thank enough the NUJP, FFFJ thru CMFR and Bantay Bata for sponsoring the scholarship of children of the victims.


Ms. Momay added they will be holding the second session for psychotherapy of the Justice Now members from April 1 to May 1 so the victims’ children can get psychosocial help so they can stand on their own. # # #


Editor’s Note: To contact the author, please e-mail him at:  (


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Comments (1)
1 Thursday, 24 March 2011 22:57
Appreciate Tenny's statement, too.

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