In the interest of fair play, please allow us, from the National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC), to react to Neal Cruz’s Feb. 20 column where he said that “the NPC is not the respectable club that it used to be.”
We are deeply hurt and dismayed by Cruz’s assertion, coming as it did from somebody who was the NPC president from 1978 to 1980. We are hurt and dismayed because it has no basis in fact.
Had Mr. Cruz attended the NPC’s 60th anniversary last October, he would have immediately concluded that, contrary to what some quarters may have told him, the NPC has not lost its luster and prestige, as shown by the number of guests who were present.
From the club’s lifetime membership roster, those who came included Jun Icban, Pete Lacaba, Fred Lobo, Ramon Tulfo, Roy Acosta and Cipriano Roxas, names we are sure are all familiar to Cruz.
In all, over 400 members, old and new, came to the NPC’s 60th anniversary, some of them from the provinces.
Their presence that day was testament enough to the fact that despite the passage of years and the club’s own ups and downs, a lot of the members of the Philippine press continue to value their membership with the NPC and are protective of its name and credibility.
May we also remind Cruz that even today, most of his fellow members at the Samahang Plaridel continue to participate in the club’s affairs and activities.
In fact, Acosta and Roxas, two stalwarts of the Samahang Plaridel, continue to head the NPC membership committee, which, among others, is in charge of purging the membership list of “undesirables” and other characters unfit to be members of the press, much less, of the NPC.
We would like to assure Cruz and his readers that the NPC continues to uphold the highest possible standards of journalism and enjoin its members to always bear in mind the Journalist’s Code of Ethics.
Lastly, we encourage “old timers” like Cruz to visit the NPC to see for themselves the many improvements that we have managed to implement and to participate in its many advocacies such as scholarship and medical assistance benefits we extend to the members and their immediate beneficiaries.
National Press Club of the Philippines,