Priest Named Aquino Awardee For Journalism
MANILA, Dec. 6, 2011— For a mission that has spanned many years as documentary journalist, an Oblate missionary has been named as the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Fellowship Awardee for Journalism for 2011.
Fr. Eduardo Vasquez, Jr, was given recognition on Tuesday by the United States Embassy and the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Foundation held at the Manila Peninsula Hotel in Makati City.
No less than President Benigno Aquino III handed the recognition to the Catholic missionary during the awarding ceremonies on Monday for his accomplishment and potential in journalism.
The priest was recognized for his social work and public service through the media group, i-Watch.
Deeply convinced in the power of media as a tool for evangelization and social transformation, he founded the organization in Upi, Maguindanao in 2006.
The i-Watch is a video documentary outfit of the Congregation of the Oblates of Mary Immaculate (OMI) and manned by people from the grassroots that were trained by Vasquez in the field of video productions.
Through the years, it has produced documentaries on socio-political, cultural and environmental issues particularly in Southern Philippines.
The nature of Vasquez’s works has put his life at risk many times especially when he was assigned in the war zones of Pikit, North Cotabato and Datu Piang, Maguindanao from 2008 to 2010, where he documented silently the plight of the displaced civilians and other victims of human rights abuses.
Aside from Vasquez, Lt. Roberto Beltran, operations and administration office at the naval forces in Poro Point, San Fernando City, La Union, was named as this year’s Aquino Fellow for Public Service.
Established in 1998 by the US Embassy in Manila as the Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Fellowships for Professional Development, it was renamed in 2009 the Ninoy and Cory Aquino Fellowships for Professional Development to commemorate President Aquino’s significant contribution to the strengthening of Philippine democratic institutions.
The Aquino fellows will travel to the United States on a three to four-week professional exchange program through the US Embassy’s International Visitor Program. [CBCPNews]