Jose Jaime Espina
Jose Jaime Espina (8 March 1962 – 7 July 2021), also known as Nonoy, was a Filipino journalist who was a co-founder of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), of which he was later the chairman from 2018 until 2021. An advocate for freedom of the press, Espina primarily reported on community issues impacting Filipinos, including the communist armed conflict, human rights issues, internal displacement, and the conflict in Mindanao.
|Died||7 July 2021 (aged 59)|
Bacolod, Negros Occidental, Philippines
When Espina was a student, he served as an editor of Pagbutlak, the student newspaper of the University of the Philippines Visayas. During the regime of Ferdinand Marcos, Espina was a member of the Correspondents, Broadcasters and Reporters Association - Action News Services (COBRA-ANS) which was part of the "mosquito press" which fought against government misinformation. Espina went on to contribute to numerous Filipino news outlets associated with the Philippines' 'alternative press', which was noted for reporting upon human rights abuses perpetrated by the government, and was a co-founder of the NUJP, which he went on to serve as chairman from 2018 until shortly before his death. Espina was critical of the presidency of Rodrigo Duterte for its human rights violations, which led to the NUJP, of which Espina was a founding member, being red-tagged as a legal front for communism by the No to Communist Terrorist Group Coalition.
Espina was a noted proponent of the rights of media workers, particularly those operating outside of Manila in the Philippines' provinces. He also became an advocate for the victims of the 2009 Ampatuan massacre, which included 32 media workers; the efforts culminated in some of the perpetrators being found guilty of murder in 2019.
In 2020, Espina spoke out in support of the ABS-CBN franchise, which was at risk of being closed down by the government. Previously, he had led rallies in support of the media outlet Rappler after it was ordered to be closed.
Espina was awarded the College Editors Guild of the Philippines' Marcelo H. Del. Pilar Award, which identified him as "without doubt, a leading force in the defence of press freedom and freedom of expression in the country".
Personal life and deathEdit
Espina was born and raised in Bacolod, Negros Occidental. He graduated in 1978 from the Negros Occidental High School in Bacolod. He was married to Leny Rojo, with whom he had two children, and lived in the Barangay Villamonte neighbourhood of Bacolod.
Espina died on 7 July 2021 of liver cancer at age 59, days after recovering from COVID-19. The NUJP paid tribute to him, calling him "a tireless champion for the freedom of the press and the welfare of media workers". The Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines referred to Espina as always standing "at the frontlines of the fight against media repression harassment".
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- National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (7 July 2021). "Nonoy Espina, 59". Retrieved 11 July 2021.
- "Veteran journalist and media rights advocate Nonoy Espina dies". Rappler. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
- News, ABS-CBN (7 July 2021). "Veteran journalist Nonoy Espina passes away". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
- "Philippines Loses a Press Freedom Fighter". Human Rights Watch. 8 July 2021. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
- Subingsubing, Krixia (9 July 2021). "Journalist, ex-NUJP chair Nonoy Espina writes 30". INQUIRER.net. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
- "Veteran journalist Nonoy Espina dies at 59". GMA News Online. Retrieved 11 July 2021.
- "NOHS Class of '78 marks Ruby Jubilee". Sunstar. 23 April 2018. Retrieved 12 July 2021.