“Never since the late unlamented Marcos dictatorship has a president ever deigned to shut down the independent media and stifle criticism and dissent.”
By DEE AYROSO
The issue here goes beyond Rappler as other dominant and alternative news media organizations are also under attack. Ressa only becomes a convenient target because of her high profile. That’s what she has in common with ABS-CBN which is a leading network. The chilling effect becomes clear by targeting both of them.
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.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said the trial was “a test run for the latest weapon the State can now wield to intimidate and silence not only the media but all citizens who call out government abuse.”
“Resistance is not futile, but vital to preserving democracy.”
Singapore passed early last May an anti-“fake news” law that will be implemented this month. The “Protection from Online Falsehoods and Manipulation” Act gives government the power to compel online news sites and even chat groups to remove statements “against the public interest” and to correct them. Not only individuals will be affected but also…
The ban extends to any journalist who would write or broadcast anything that the President deems to be ‘fake news.’
ASKED if he caused the February 13 arrest of Rappler CEO and editor Maria Ressa, President Rodrigo Duterte said he had nothing to do with it, and that he did not “relish picking on her.” He also said he did not know Wilfredo Keng, whose complaint that he had been libeled by the online news…
“This government, led by a man who has proven averse to criticism and dissent, now proves it will go to ridiculous lengths to forcibly silence a critical media and stifle free expression and thought.”
“Let there be no doubt that harassing, punishing and terrorizing a free press are symptoms of a tyranny.”