Campaign for legal defense of journalists launched

Journalists wear the Masked Media mask during the campaign launch on Sept. 21, 2020. ( Photo by Mark Saludes )


MANILA–Forty-eight years after then President Ferdinand Marcos declared Martial Law, journalists and press freedom advocates joined the launch of the campaign dubbed as “Masked Media.”

Spearheaded by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the campaign aims to support and defend journalists who are being silenced in their pursuit of the truth.

Proceeds from the campaign sales will help fund legal defense aid for journalists facing libel and cyber libel cases, as well as other cases such as illegal arrests.

According to NUJP, there are 24 libel and cyber libel cases filed against journalists since 2016.

The campaign was done in partnership with a volunteer advertising agency who had reached out to NUJP for a possible fundraising campaign.

“When they reached out, they told us: we wanted to be part of the fight and support the cause of journalists,” said NUJP Secretary General Dabet Panelo.

The advertising agency, who designed and conceptualized the Masked Media campaign, used cloth masks with a red hand over the mouth, a clear symbolism of the current state of press freedom in the country.

“Today, we renew our commitment to defend press freedom by serving the people’s right to know. Let our vow be: A free press for free people,” said NUJP in its statement.

Journalists Atom Araullo, Inday-Espina Varona, Jon Nery and Maria Ressa posted their photos wearing the mask on their social media accounts. Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno also wore the mask when he attended the tribute to Martial Law martyrsat the Bantayog ng mga Bayan.

The masks, priced at P150 per piece, were sold out in less than 24 hours. The public can order the cloth masks in NUJP’s Lazada and Shopee accounts, once they are available:

Supporters may donate to the fund through the bank account:

Account name: National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
Account Number: 229-7-229-50757-1

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