EU Delegation to the Philippines, Partners congratulate the winners of the EU Peace Journalism Awards


MANILA – The Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines together with its partners congratulated the winners of the EU Peace Journalism Awards held tonight (8 July 2015) in Makati City.

Jefry Tupas, NewsDesk, who is based in Davao City won the grand prize for his article, “The Teachers of Raja Muda”. The grand finalists were Mr Jes Aznar, Mindanews (photo essay) and Stella Estremera, Sun Star Davao (written text in print media).

Tupas got an all-expenses paid trip to Brussels where he will meet with peace interlocutors in September.

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 Rappler. Jonathan Cellona of ABS-CBN News was adjudged semi-finalist for the photo essay category.

Froilan Gallardo of Mindanews received the’s Choice, a special award. The following received special citations for their articles: Gigi Grande, ABS-CBN; Bernardino Testa, Interaksyon; Voltaire Tupaz, Rappler; Gianna Francesca Catolico and Cristi Ilagan, Plaridel (De La Salle University). The winners received trophies, gadgets and certificates.

Meanwhile, the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process 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.

Jurors for the EU Peace Journalism Awards were EU Ambassador Guy Ledoux, Chairperson Mohagher Iqbal of the Bangsamoro Transition Commission, Ms Rowena Paraan, Chairperson, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines; and Dr Mark Torres of the Mindanao State University, Institute for Peace and Development.

The EU Peace Journalism Awards were launched following the historic signing of the comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro.

Ambassador Ledoux said that the media’s 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.

“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.

Prior to the awarding ceremony, Mr Jason Gutierrez, multi-awarded freelance journalist and former president of the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines together with Jes Aznar, Mindanews and Jefry Tupas, NewsDesk 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.

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, 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.

Entries were judged on the basis of the following criteria: relevance to the topic – 30%; news value/impact – 30%; investigative depth – 25%; and professional quality and style – 15%.

The Journalism Awards aimed to:

1. raise awareness about the impact and value of peace and the peace process in general and to generate information and a deeper understanding of the Bangsamoro peace process in particular;

2. acknowledge the role of Philippine journalists as agents of peaceful social transformation through balanced, responsible, culturally-sensitive and conflict-sensitive reporting on peace and conflict stories; and,

3. generate awareness, interest and appreciation for EU-supported activities in Mindanao in the context of the peace process. (Eagle News Service/European Union Delegation to the Philippines)