Updated March 2, 2021, 3:08 p.m.
By REIN TARINAY
MANILA — Campus journalists from the University of the Philippines received death threats from a suspected paid troll account today, March 1.
In a Facebook post, Tinig ng Plaridel said they received a message from a certain Marcos Dimaculangan saying, “We will kill you if you do not stop (what you are doing).”
Included in the message are copies of the publication’s logo and photos of their student journalists. Tinig ng Plaridel’s editor-in-chief was also branded as a terrorist.
Apart from TNP, other UP student publications such as the Philippine Collegian, Sinag and Scientia also received death threats from the said Facebook account.
In a statement, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) denounced the attack, describing the threats as “an utter insanity and a cheap action to silence campus journalists.”
On March 2, Sinag received a message from a certain Dalton Galvez, implying that the student writers are included in a so-called hitlit. The Facebook account also tagged UP professors as terrorists.
“The Guild vehemently denounces such attempts to further attack the campus press and the press freedom in general that have been on the receiving end ever since Duterte fixated his priorities on his critics rather than the problems that needed to be addressed before and during his fascist term.” the group added.
CEGP said the fight against the red-tagging of these UP student publications is part of a collective fight for a free and critical press that “genuinely serves the interest of the student body and the Filipino people through remaining as a bastion of truth and a militant vanguard that shall actively combat divisive and deceitful state propaganda, and rouse the Filipino people into greater resistance against tyranny.”
In an editorial, Sinag condemns what it called as “state-sponsored trolls,” adding that “truth-telling is not terrorism.”
TNP is the student publication of UP College of Mass Communication while Scientia is the student publication of the UP College of Science and Sinag is for College of Social Science and Philosophy. Philippine Collegian is the university-wide student publication of UP Diliman.
* The article has been updated to include the attacks on Sinag