Anselmo Roque, a pioneer of provincial journalism, said members of the Nueva Ecija Press Club, Inc. (NEPCI) initially planted trees in Magsaysay Norte and Magsaysay Sur, both of this city, on Friday.
Roque said the activity, followed by a simple get-together by the journalists, jump started the organization’s advocacy on environment and tourism.
Meanwhile, another officer of the organization said the trees symbolize the lives lost in criminal attacks such as Maguindanao Massacre where some 32 journalists were among those killed.
Nueva Ecija has recorded at least two unresolved media killings. These include the alleged robbery killing of Ponciano Grande, 53, who wrote for the Nueva Ecija Times in December 2006 and Radyo ng Bayan correspondent Mark Palacios in April 2007.
While Grande’s case appeared to be of robbery, the Philippine National Police
(PNP) Task Force Usig reported that Palacio’s case was apparently work-related. It considered the brutality of the attack where the victim’s mouth was heavily damaged.
Roque said “I also would want to emphasize the need for a concerted effort to address the worsening problem on climate change.”
Vice Gov. Jose Gay Padiernos expressed support to the cause of provincial journalists. He said effective governance requires an open line with the people which can be done through the media. The incumbent administration at the provincial capitol, he said, has high regards on press freedom.