While it is true that ordinary citizens are expected to maintain civility, speaking out should not be criminalized. We are being punished for demanding from government what it should have been doing in the midst of a health crisis.
Tags: free speech
The proclamation of the state of health emergency was hijacked by the government to dismantle people’s solidarities and put in place dictatorial rule that wiped out human, civil and political rights. Thus grotesquely rises, in the quasi-hobbesian sense, an all absorbing Leviathan.
We articulate not only what concerns us but more essentially what concerns those whose rights are trampled upon. In so doing, we empower them to likewise articulate their sentiments and aspirations.
“This targeting and arrest is a vicious attack on freedom of expression amidst the continuing failure of the national and local governments to ensure expanded and systematic mass testing and a comprehensive public information drive on the pandemic.”
In this timeline, Bulatlat enumerates all attempts to curtail free speech and press freedom since the country is placed under the enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19 pandemic until before President Rodrigo Duterte delivers his fifth State of the Nation Address.
By DEE AYROSO
All these actions aim to create chilling effect, to force us into silence amid the Duterte administration’s glaring failure to address the COVID-19 crisis.