Church leader throws support behind Mindanao news coop

A CATHOLIC Church leader has thrown his support behind the establishment of a cooperative newspaper said to be the first of its kind in Mindanao.

During Monday’s  Eucharistic celebration at the office of PeriodiCoop in Cagayan de Oro City, Rev. Msgr. Elmer S. Abacahin encouraged its staff and workers to continue the fight to uphold the rights of abused media workers.

“What you have done is like bringing healing to the wounded and abused members of the press,” said Abacahin, executive secretary of the Office on Basic Ecclesial Community of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines and also a journalist-priest and director of the Cagayan de Oro City Press Club.

Former staffers and workers of the defunct Periodico News Network (PNN) recently took over the operations of the establishment and set up the cooperative. PNN published the English newspaper Daily Corridor and Cebuano tabloid Periodico Mindanaw.

This was after its publisher, Winston Fermin Visitacion left the company following accusations that he raped and sexually harassed two female employees and a female reporter of PNN.

Freed from the clutches of their allegedly abusive publisher, the staff and workers of PeriodiCoop vowed to make their business work.

“Many have attempted the cooperative formula in freeing media business from capitalist machinations. We do not claim to have the best formula now, but we have good reason to believe that we shall succeed,” said Corridor Daily’s editors in their front page editorial for its maiden issue last Thursday.

“What happened to PNN is a case of gross abuse on the part of its owners. Already deprived of their salaries, unsuspecting workers were even used so they could get loans from lending institutions on the pretext that these were salary loans only to know later that the proceeds were used for their personal whims,” the editorial added. Albus D. Estabas.

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