February 2, 2009
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) announced on Monday the removal of its former chairman Jose Torres Jr. for alleged violations of The Journalist’s Code of Ethics.
“Mr. Torres was found to have personally solicited money from a source for his personal use. The decision was reached after hearing the allegations against Mr. Torres and after he presented his explanation and defense for his action,” NUJP said in a statement.
Torres denied the allegation. “I deny. There was no solicitation and I disagree with the allegations that were imputed against me,” he said in a phone interview when he was asked to comment on the statement.
The statement did not detail the alleged solicitation.
Torres was removed in November 2008. A new set of officers was immediately elected. Torres, former editor in chief of gmanews.tv, was replaced by Philippine Daily Inquirer Iloilo correspondent Nestor Burgos.
Based on the NUJP statement, Torres violated Article V and XI of The Journalist Code of Ethics.
- Article V. I shall not let personal motives or interests influence me in the performance of my duties, nor shall I accept or offer any present, gift or other consideration of a nature that may cast doubt on my professional integrity
- Article XI. I shall conduct myself in public or while performing my duties as journalist in such manner as to maintain the dignity of my profession. When in doubt, decency should be my watchword."
Torres was said to have violated Article II Section 1 of the NUJP by-laws, which tasks members “to raise the standards of journalistic ethics toward the end goal of securing press freedom and protecting the integrity of the working press in the country."
The NUJP by-laws provides that any officer of the group may be removed from office “upon affirmative majority vote of the Directorate having a quorum.” His membership was also cancelled.
NUJP decided to issue a statement on Torres’s removal “to dispel rumors, erroneous assumptions and in response to queries from friends of NUJP, media organizations and allies on an internal organizational matter.”
“It was a difficult process and the decision was a painful one to make. But it had to be made if the principles of the NUJP and the hard work and sacrifices our members have put in to make our union the foremost organization of practicing journalists in the country are to mean anything at all,” the statement added.