GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews/08 Feb) — In the February 7, 2017 MindaNews story, “The Mindanao Cross newspaper: digitized from first issue on Feb. 6, 1948”, by Valerie Ann P. Lambo, I noticed two inaccuracies that I would like to correct as former editor (not “editor-in-chief”) of the paper from 1968 to 1989.
First: The second to the last paragraph states: “The paper missed one issue when martial law was declared in 1972. Former Editor-in-Chief Patricio Diaz went to the Supreme Court to petition and the paper was allowed to publish again.”
- On file, the paper missed only one issue, the September 29, 1972. But in reality, the reading pubic missed two including the September 22 issue, the headline of which was: “No Martial Law”, citing Cotabato Gov. Carlos B. Cajelo as the source. The Philippine Constabulary provincial commander disallowed its circulation.
- I did not go to the Supreme Court to petition for the paper to resume publication. I went to the Media Advisory Council under Primitivo Mijares, who told me to see Press Secretary Francisco Tatad only to be told to get the permit from the Fourth Philippine Constabulary Zone Commander Brig. Gen. Wilfredo Encarnacion in Parang, Cotabato (now Maguindanao).
Second: The 12th and 13th paragraphs read: “The Mindanao Cross has received multiple awards since 1997. It was first awarded the Best in Editorial Page by the Philippine Press Institute in 1998. It took home the 1999 Gerry Gil Foundation’s Best Editorial Page and again won in the 2006 Community Press Awards also in the Best Editorial Page category.”
We congratulate Fr. Jonathan Domingo, OMI, MC executive officer, and Editor-in-Chief Eva Kimpo-Tan for taking The Mindanao Cross to the heights journalistic excellence and distinction; under their stewardship, the “Little Paper with a Big Cause” will prosper the more not only to win more awards but, foremost, to continue invigorating the “Big Cause” – service to the Church and the Community.
However, in recognition of the editorial excellence that the Oblate editors – Fr. Cuthbert Billman (1948) to Fr. Benedicto A. Carreon (until 1968) – had set, the 1998 “Best in Editorial Page” award from the Philippine Press Institute was not the first the paper had received. The first was the “Distinguished Provincial Journalism” award from the Rotary Club of Manila on February 27, 1969. (See: MC, 2/15/69, p.1 and 3/8/69, p.8 for the story and picture respectively.)
The paper was cited for having demonstrated “for over 20 years that a fair and well-edited newspaper can survive and well serve a distant community peopled by mixed ethnic groups”. The citation was a statement of the little paper’s “Big Cause” – a tribute to the pioneering O.M.I. editors.
Incidentally, the digitization or micro-filming of The Mindanao Cross was a project first intimated by Father Carreon. Now in the other life, he must be happy to see its realization
To Father Domingo, Editor-in-Chief Eva Kimpo-Tan (Notre Dame University’s retired professor and socioeconomic researcher) and their staff: Carry on the “Big Cause” of the “Little Paper” and the ideals of Archbishop Gerard Mongeau, O.M.I..
[Author’s Note: Mind da News, the alternate of COMMENT, is a comment on current news. The author may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]