THE National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC lauded former Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence ‘Bong’ Go, for coming to the aid of members of the press who are seriously ill.
“The NPC has always abided by the dictum, ‘Purihin ang dapat purihin, punahin ang dapat punahin,’ and in this instance, it cannot be denied that Bong Go, deserves to be praised,” said Pres. Rolando ‘Rolly’ Gonzalo.
Last December 13, at a simple rite in Malacañang, Go handed over to Presidential Communication Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar, his ‘Christmas cash gift’ to ten sick journalists.
One of the beneficiaries is broadcast journalist, Ed Verzola, who like Andanar, is a lifetime member of the NPC.
Verzola has been recovering from his bout with throat cancer while most of the other beneficiaries are suffering from complications due to diabetes, namely Ernie Gabonada, a news anchor from Gensan; Baguio columnist Mon Dacawi; Bong Montalban, a radio disc jockey in Cagayan de Oro; Bohol DJ Edward Guyano; Bukidnon news reporter Ma. Meodina Molejon;
Kalibo radio station manager John Chester Redecio; SunStar Cebu photographer Alex Badayos; Inquirer correspondent Mario Arguelles; and, Nueva Ecija columnist Elmo Roque.
“With Christmas just around the corner and with the families of our sick colleagues already weighted down by the cost of their medical expenses, this helping hand from Bong Go comes just at the right moment in time. It should be appreciated by everyone, Gonzalo added.
Meeting with members of the press based in Laguna on December 16, Andanar said the financial support given by Bong Go would be “deposited directly” to the bank account of the beneficiaries for their immediate use.
The meeting with Laguna newsmen was organized by the NPC in support of Andanar’s effort to consult with all media groups in the country.
Andanar said he is meeting with all media groups only to explain the PCOO’s main functions and objectives but also, to personally see for himself the situation of journalists, especially in the provinces.
“Let me know who among you are also in need of urgent medical assistance so I can also relay it to Bong Go,” Andanar informed the group.
Andanar also turned over to the participants copies of the ‘Handbook on Personal Security Measures for Media Practitioners,’ which was published by the ‘Presidential Task Force on Media Security’, after more than a year of consultation national media organizations.
The handbook details the measures to be taken by members of the press to protect themselves from physical harm as well as other risks that comes with their profession as members of the press.