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CCPC honors first Cebuano Press Freedom martyr

By: Wenilyn B. Sabalo - CDN Digital Multi-Media Reporter | September 21,2022 - 06:23 PM

Relatives of the four notable Cebuanos including those of Attorney Antonio Abad Tormis, the first Cebuano Press Freedom martyr, attend the unveiling of his statue at the CJJ Gallery in Museo Sugbo, Cebu City, on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 21, 2022. The activity was part of the 30th year celebration of Cebu Press Freedom Week.

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu media industry, on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 21, 2022, honored the life and works of four notable Cebuanos who have contributed greatly to advancing free press in their various capacities as journalist-lawyers and as lawmakers.

The Cebu Citizens Press Council (CCPC) led the unveiling of the statue in honor of the late Attorney Antonio Abad Tormis, the first Cebuano Press Freedom martyr, at the CJJ Gallery in Museo Sugbo, Cebu City, on Wednesday afternoon, Sept. 21, 2022.

The activity was part of the 30th Cebu Press Freedom Week celebration.

Attorney Maria Carmen Tormis-Abayon, one of the grandchildren of Antonio Abad-Tormis, in her response on behalf of the family, expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the CCPC for giving honor to the life and legacy of her grandfather as a journalist.

“Giving him the special honor as Cebu’s first Press Freedom Martyr is a recognition of a crusader for clean governance and a journalist killed for what he wrote,” she said.

Tormis-Abayon furthered by hoping that his grandfather’s life as a journalist may serve as an inspiration for the journalists of this generation to strive to possess “professional integrity, responsibility, and most importantly, honesty.”

The late Atty. Antonio Abad Tormis was murdered in 1961 because of what he wrote and talked about in the media.

He was both a print and broadcast journalist under the now defunct “Republic News.”

According to records, the late Tormis was “exposing anomalies at Cebu City Hall when a gunman hired by the city treasurer shot him dead at a barbershop along Borromeo St. in Cebu City.”

His case has been decided, and both his assailant and the mastermind had been tried, convicted, and jailed.

Moreover, the CCPC also unveiled the basque sculptures of three other notable Cebu media personalities: the late broadcaster Bobby Nalzaro and the late senators Vicente Rama and Vicente Sotto.

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama, the great-grandson of the late Senator Vicente Rama; the grandchildren of the late senator Vicente Sotto, and Julie Flores’ a close friend of Nalzaro also graced the event.

The late Vicente Sotto authored the Sotto Law, which protects the publisher, editor, and reporter of a publication from being compelled to reveal the source of a published story.

Vicente Rama, a former mayor, congressman, and senator, founded the Spanish Language Nueva Fuerza in 1915, the Cebuano weekly Bag-ong Kusog in 1921, and the first English weekly, Progress, in 1928.

The late Bobby Nalzaro, also known as Super Bob, was a broadcast journalist, radio commentator, and columnist, who handled a daily commentary program on radio and served as news anchor of GMA 7’s Balitang Bisdak.    /rcg


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TAGS: Bobby Nalzaro, CCPC, Cebu‬, Cebu Citizens-Press Council, Cebu City, Cebu Daily News, cebu news, Museo Sugbo, Press Freedom, Press Freedom Week

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