President Rodrigo Duterte opened his six-year presidency with a threat – that journalists are not exempted from assassination “if you’re a son of bitch” – about a month before he was inaugurated into power. This cemented his hostility towards the media. And it did not end here.
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The Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has called on the Philippine government to restore access to two alternative news sites that were earlier blocked for supposed terror links, saying this is intimidation and censorship.
“The threat of additional schemes also remains as Noel Villanueva and his minions desperately cling onto the Tinang farmers’ land. We remain vigilant.”
“The perjury case brought by the government may also be a form of retaliation for the human rights activities of these local human rights defenders. We have seen in recent years that many defenders have been dragged before the courts, smeared, red tagged and murdered in the Philippines. This intimidation should stop immediately.”
The fall of socialist regimes and the restoration of capitalism in many countries in the 1990s provoked the view that the current stage of history is also its last. The adherents of the theory that liberal democracy is the pinnacle of political evolution are correct: individual freedom and self-rule are the prerogatives of all of humanity. But democracy has never been as imperiled as it is today by the tyrants who rule in its name. Despite the economic and social crises that afflict not only the poorest countries of the world but also the wealthiest, no alternative seems to be available, the only prospect being more of the same.
“We call on all the concerned sectors to stand together against the continuing wave of red-tagging and terrorist-labelling and to vigorously defend freedom of expression, freedom of the press, freedom of association and the right to peaceably assemble.”
Today’s gospel provides us guidance on how to be disciples today. To be able to share the Good News, we must be ready to speak the truth. We should come prepared for some people to reject us because God’s ways are different. Do not expect royalties, retainers, commissions, and other rewards for it is not promised.
“Under the Rome Statute’s core principle of complementarity, States always have the first opportunity to investigate allegations of such crimes committed on their territory or by their nationals. However, when national authorities fail to act, the Court must step in, and that is why I have filed today’s application.”
“This situation is like a throwback to 1972 when Marcos Sr. closed down private media and broadcasting networks and maintained only government mouthpieces.”
A group of overseas Filipino workers challenged President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to act accordingly on the case of Filipina on death row Mary Jane Veloso.
International media organizations are appalled over the National Telecommunications Commission’s order blocking online access to Bulatlat and fellow alternative news Pinoy Weekly, which the Philippine government accused of having terror links.