A free press could never be cowed nor silenced

Last week, activists of the 1970s up to the present commemorated the 40th year of the declaration of Martial Law not only to recall those dark years but also to remind the people of the dangers of a dictatorship or its repressive instruments being revived. One of the legacies of Martial law was treating the press as a dangerous enemy that needs to be suppressed.

Martial law’s legacy of stifling the press persists

Forty years after the imposition of martial law, the Philippine media is still confronted with problems bearing imprints of the dictatorship.

The enactment of the Republic Act 10175 or the Anti-Cybercrime Law is just one of the steps being taken against the press. Luis Teodoro, deputy executive director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) said that while the Freedom of Information (FOI) bill has been waiting for 19 years to be passed, the Anti-Cybercrime Act and the Data Privacy Act or Republic Act 10173 were railroaded. (Click here to read more)

Above-ground alternative press: Open defiance to the Marcos dictatorship

When Ferdinand Marcos stifled press freedom, there were those who stood up for the truth.

The alternative press, defined by Luis Teodoro, deputy executive director of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), as media outfits not tied to commercial and political interests, fought the Marcos dictatorship.

Besides the underground press, Teodoro said, publications such as the Signs of the Times, We Forum and Pahayagang Malaya, Who magazine, Mr. & Ms. ran stories critical of the Marcos regime. He said the mainstream press also published stories with alternative content. (Click here to read more)

Underground press during martial law: Piercing the veil of darkness imposed by the dictatorship

“The sound of the typewriter then was considered subversive.”

Carolina “Bobbie” Malay said as she recalled the early years after Ferdinand Marcos declared martial law.

When Marcos shut down newspapers, radio stations and television networks, she, along with her husband, Satur Ocampo, and other activists put up Balita ng Malayang Pilipinas (BMP) to fill a void. BMP ran news stories and analyses on issues and was all-out anti-Marcos. (Click here to read more)

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