By JANESS ANN J. ELLAO
MANILA – A global organization of community radio broadcasters demanded the release of Frenchie Mae Cumpio, a journalist who was among those arrested in a series of simultaneous raid of offices of progressive groups in Tacloban City.
“AMARC and its global family of community radios and advocates of freedom of expression stand in solidarity with our members and colleagues in the Philippines in protesting against the attacks by the Duterte administration against human rights defenders and free media,” said Ram Bhat, President of AMARC Asia-Pacific.
AMARC stands for World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters, a group that has more than 5,000 members and stakeholders in 115 countries.
Cumpio, a community radio broadcaster and executive director of alternative media outfit Eastern Vista, was arrested along with four other human rights advocates on Feb. 7, 2020 in Tacloban City.
As of now, all five, collectively known as “Tacloban 5,” remain incarcerated and are facing trumped up charges.
Last week, the International Association of Women in Radio and Television, a global network of women journalists that has 14 national chapters nationwide, has also issued a statement calling for her release.
Their arrest, the group said, has no space in a democracy.
For its part, AMARC, citing reports from human rights groups in the Philippines, said Cumpio’s arrest is “part of the government’s work to silence those media personalities that are critical to the policies and principles of the state.”