A monument for Press Freedom, the first in the world, will soon rise at the Capitol grounds. The area picked by Governor Oscar S. Moreno is the corner of de Lara Park fronting the Cagayan de Oro Press Club building and Radio Mindanao Network where the first radio station of Mindanao was set up.
“This makes the site very significant because the lot where the Press Club building stands was donated by the provincial government to the press club and across the street is the site of the pioneering Radio Mindanao Network,” Moreno said.
The monument was designed and will be built by internationally acclaimed Filipino Sculptor Eduardo Castrillo, who was recently awarded by Malacañang for his works.
Castrillo is building the main monument at the center of de Lara Park which will replace the obelisk that is presently standing there. The whole project will cost P27 Million, already including the Press Freedom Monument.
In an earlier meeting with the governor, Castrillo presented his design for the main monument which was approved by the governor with minor revisions. Upon seeing the design of the Press Freedom Monument the governor gave the go signal right away to include it in the project.
The main monument will depict the history of Misamis Oriental from the time when it was still known as plain Misamis (which then included Misamis Occidental, Bukidnon and Camiguin).
“Of course, this will also include the history of Cagayan de Oro because it has always been part of the entire Misamis area,” Moreno said.
The design will include the faces of past governors and that of the late Emmanuel Pelaez who was the author of the law that split Misamis to Oriental and Occidental, creating the two provinces.
The Press Freedom Monument will depict a radio man and a newspaperman both at work and the radioman cuddling a fallen companion, dramatizing the killing of journalists in the country that has reached 100 since the restoration of full democracy in 1986.
At the back of the monument will be etched the names of the killed journalists and the place and date where they were killed. Every new name will be added to the list when necessary.
In an interview, MisOr Provincial Administrator Patrick Gabutina revealed that the groundbreaking ceremonies have been tentatively scheduled on Friday, April 20, 2009, signaling the start of the construction of the two monuments.The inauguration of the new landmarks is aimed on January 1, 2010 which will start the celebration of the 80th Anniversary of the province.