Suppression of Press Freedom

February 21, 2019

 

IS the brickbat against the Duterte administration arising from the arrest of Rappler’s Chief Executive Officer Maria Ressa well deserved? As reported in print and broadcast media, Ressa was arrested at her Pasay City Office after the NBI filed tax evasion charges and cyberlibel case against her. She allegedly violated the Cybercrime Prevention Act. She was, however, ordered released by the Manila RTC on a P100,000.00 bail. International and local media, however, view the arrest as “politically motivated” and condemns it as a threat to press freedom.  Reports are that the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers and the World Editors Forum wrote a joint letter to President Duterte expressing concern that the charges against Ressa are politically motivated and “form part of a systematic campaign by the government to use the law as a weapon to silence Rappler’s reporting, which has often been critical of the presidency.” The Amnesty International also condemned the arrest on what the group called “trumped-up libel charge.” The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists also reportedly called on Philippine authorities to immediately release Ressa and drop all pending charges against her. Reports also indicate that CNN’s Christian Amanpour described Ressa’s arrest as a “desperate” move by the Duterte administration. Malacanang, however, thru presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo maintains that the case brought against Ressa has nothing to do with freedom of expression as Ressa “must adhere to the rule of law” just as any other citizen becausse no one is above the law, “not even high profile, self-anointed crusading journalists.” Be that as it may, whether the criticism is well deserved or not, let the public judge
Since the campaign period has been opened by the Comelec, proclamations rallies by candidates also started to grind. Last week the candidates of the Otso Diretso had its proclamation rally in Caloocan City. The other day, the PDP-LABAN had its proclamation rally for its full slate in San Jose del Monte City in Bulacan. There used to be a time in the past when proclamation rallies are generally done at Plaza Miranda in Manila. I wonder why political parties has shunned the place for proclamation rallies.
TRIVIA:
Congratulations to my AdeNU high school class ‘54 batchmates Tim Borromeo and Pomping Requinta who will jointly celebrate their birth anniversary on February 24 with a luncheon-fellowship at Bob Marlin Resto-Bar.
Congratulations also to Brod Steve Abonal who will be celebrating his 89th birthday anniversary this coming Saturday, February 23. .
Congratulations also to the Knights of Columbus, Nueva Caceres Council 7995 which will be celebrating its 38th Foundation Anniversary on  Sunday, February 24. Per announcement made by Grand Knight Henry Belano there will be thanksgiving mass at 10:00 a.m., dart competition from 1:00 p.m. then dinner-fellowship from 5:00 p.m.
QUOTATION OF THE WEEK:
“I WOULD RATHER BE JAILED IN DEFENSE OF WHAT IS RIGHT, THAN GO TO HELL IN THE COMPANY OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR COLLECTIVE DESCENT INTO IMPUNITY, FEAR AND INHUMANITY.”
SENATOR LEILA DE LIMA
FOR OUR WORD OF LIFE:
“PRAISE GOD IN HIS HOLY SANCTUARY; GIVE PRAISE IN THE MIGHTY DOME OF OF HEAVEN.”
PSALM 149:1

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