The blocking of the websites occurred in the context of incessant red-tagging.
By DANIEL ASIDO
MANILA – Progressive lawmakers are seeking to investigate government agencies behind the order to block alternative online news Bulatlat and 26 other websites.
“What the NTC and National Security Council did is blatant red-tagging-linking these organizations to the communist movement. This is also disinformation, given that Esperon and the agencies are maliciously misrepresenting progressives, the media, even the religious are part of, supporting, and related to the armed struggle,” the resolution read.
ACT Teachers Rep. France Castro, Gabriela Women’s Party Rep. Arlene Brosas, and Kabataan Rep. Raoul Manuel authored the resolution.
According to House Resolution No. 49, former National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. did not present evidence in his “ratified” blocking orders to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in June.
“…despite the weight of Esperon’s accusation and ramification thereof, Bulatlat and the rest of the other websites blocked were neither given notice nor were heard in a trial or some other proceeding by the NTC and NSC,” the resolution also said.
The resolution said that the blocking of the websites has no legal basis as no executive orders or laws have been passed to give NTC the power to block websites without a court order and is blatant red-tagging.
It added that a hearing regarding the matter at the House Committee on Human Rights and Committee on Public Information is needed as some of the websites that were blocked are progressive groups and media outlets like Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly.
“Such acts should not be committed again as long as we remain in a democracy,” the resolution added.
Bulatlat challenged the measure at the Quezon City RTC Branch 306 but was denied a temporary restraining order against the NTC order.