“It’s a bad call by the PDI management, a setback for press freedom and a sad day for Philippine journalism.”
Tags: press freedom
President Rodrigo Duterte has made it to the gallery of heads of government in 37 countries that the international press freedom watch organization Reporters Without Borders (RSF, Reporters Sans Frontières) regards as enemies of press freedom. Mr. Duterte’s inclusion puts him in the company of Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Xi Jinping, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, Saudi…
According to Paris-based media watchdog, Duterte has used several weapons to wage “total war” against independent media.
In 2019, the country ranked 134th out of 180 countries, and fell two places in 2020 at 136th. This year, the Philippines’ ranked 138th and was classified by the RSF as one of the world’s deadliest countries for journalists and bloggers.
The Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020 has been widely criticised for curtailing press freedom and the freedom of expression. It has granted authorities the power to detain activists and journalists, and to allege them at the very least of committing terrorism as the law so vaguely defined.
Bulatlat pays tribute to the press freedom heroes who courageously defied the Marcos dictatorship through their brave journalism and, for some, through their active involvement in the underground movement that helped topple Marcos.
“Never since the late unlamented Marcos dictatorship has a president ever deigned to shut down the independent media and stifle criticism and dissent.”
“At ‘yun ang sinasabi ko palaging dapat panghawakan ‘yung aral ng kasaysayan. Dumaan na tayo dito at tayo’y nagwagi. Wala akong dahilan para maniwalang hindi natin mauulit ‘yan. Lakas ng tao ‘yan, lakas ng bayan ‘yan. Lakas ng sambayanan.”
“It is clear that the goal of this administration is not only to shut down ABS-CBN but to send a message throughout the media industry.”
Various groups assailed today yet another attack against press freedom in the country, with a Manila court handing down a guilty verdict against Rappler’s CEO Maria Ressa and their former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr.
While we all agree that the fight against terrorism is important and needs the participation and cooperation of everyone, we maintain that the proposed law is open to abuse by despotic governments to visit terror against critics and the people in general.