Philippines Tomas’ National Campus Journalism Awards that is
Philippines is continuously bombarded with various national issues and political anomalies since President Rodrigo Duterte dethroned the late President Noynoy Aquino. Several issues and its different point of views were feasted on the internet by the netizens. Hence, the raging issues were elaborated by a writer named John Nery in one of his opinion article. Nery is the editor in chief of inquirer.net. He is also the associate editor and columnist in Philippine Daily Inquirer. As a prominent writer, he was given several recognitions such as “Catholic Mass Media Award and a Louie R. Prieto Grand Prize ” for his works on kidnapping issues and a “Jamie V. Ongpin citation ” for his remarkable series on gambling. He is an award-winning editor and is known for his works—”Into the Mountain: Hostaged by the Abu Sayyaf” and “Unholy Nation: Stories from Gambling Republic”. He is also an outstanding author that wrote “Revolutionary Spirit: Jose Rizal in Southeast Asia. His article entitled “Today is a dangerous time to be a Filipino”, enlightens us with his strong conviction against the horrors of our government’s justice system today. As a sixteen-year-old senior high school student and an aspiring journalist, I must say I found Nery’s way of invoking timely, effective and most importantly–—poignantly uplifting. His first point is, students nowadays perceive more clearly, pay close attention, and are fully aware than people who posses supremacy. Second, the entries that the young students wrote not just with hand but also with sharp minds that yield censured words deserved to be read in full. Nery captivates us with his bold catching question on the introduction of the article, he asks “How is it a young student can see more clearly than senators or Supreme Court Justices?”. The question itself reflects the intention of the author—it impugns. It is a good thing that he pointed out the youth were very much aware of the alarming issues of our country because they write well. The “youth ” he was referring to were the young journalists who competed in the University of Santo Tomas’ National Campus Journalism Awards that is now on its third year, where he had the privilege of serving on the board of judges. The first paragraph contains a parcel of one out of several winning pieces in the contest. According to one journalist, “Today is a dangerous time to be a Filipino. The country is being led by a President who promotes a culture of killing and impunity— a President who encourages his people, not just the police, to kill drug pushers on sight, and he vowed to protect those who carry them out. More than this, we have a President who has chosen to consider innocent people killed alongside as ‘collateral damage’ and not as victims of murder who deserve justice. “. It talks about the controversial mandate of President Duterte to diminish tons of drug-related cases. It was a mere opinion of a student that points out the brutality of officers-in-charge that leads to rampantly growing numbers of ‘collateral damage’ that has now reached 6, 2225 according to the Philippine National Police. But the authority claims that there has only been one extrajudicial victim. It is true that this article proves that young journalists of today are awakened and are capable of writing a worth-heeding-article. Nery uses his material very well but not too much that it satisfies everybody. It lacks concrete evidences—evidences from well-known and authorized websites to support the statement of the journalist. The second and third paragraphs talk about his amusement as he quoted this words, “struck by the courage and clear-eyed insight of the writers. ” On the following paragraph, specifically on the fourth, he used the word ‘common anxiety about the Age of Duterte’ and as well mentioned the name of a seventeen-year-old murder victim “Kian Loyd delos Santos”. Knowing that the victim’s name was recently seen on newspaper headlines and on televisions, it is validated as a strong evidence to support his statement “They belong to Kian delos Santos generation”. Then, he mentioned other issues that made a wide room of imagination for the journalist such as “the terrible conflict in Marawi; alleged gun fights between Special Action Force and terrorists groups, and its consequences, the ongoing attempt at rehabilitating Marcoses, local governance anomalies, and unending corruption or hypocrisy in the country which truly exists. The succeeding paragraphs contains an elaboration on his argument. It contains the students’ winning pieces such as “On EJK: Not just `collateral damage´ ” which explains that the country’s war on drugs turned `war on poverty´ and is now turning into a `war on Filipinos´, In “No more running “, it pays more respect to the truth than the members of the political class. “Ambulansya ng mga Politikong Pulpol “, it uses creative words but it is not hard to decipher. And lastly, a crop of a feature article entitled “Dr. Antonio Contreras: Unashamed and unapologetic ” written by Cody Cepeda and Wilhelm Tan. The article focused on an academic controversialist and a Bongbong Marcos supporter who suspects about an alleged election cheating. This articles are confirmed as either an editorial or feature article of the same contest. It is noticeable that he uses a pattern on his article. He always include some parts of the journalists’ works in every paragraph and follows it with an opinion or sometimes an assertion to support his points or the his claim. Nery’s article does not give the readers an ambiguity or complexity but it is not simple at all. The moment you start reading it you can not resist reading further. The fact that the author uses his material very wise means it achieves it’s main goal or purpose. It criticizes from beginning until the end. However, some parts are really lacking on evidences especially on the first paragraphs. Furthermore, It does not include a positive attributes or positive outcome of every issues discussed which helps the readers understand what he claims. As a student and a citizen of the Philippines, I must say that reading this article raises our social awareness especially the youth. Because Filipinos still lived the proverbial statement of Dr. Jose Rizal “Ang kabataan ang pag-asa ng bayan. “. This article awakens the “journalist spirit ” within me. Nery’s work is really an eye-opener.