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Journalists, bloggers, activists condemn ‘series of attacks’ against press freedom

By: - Reporter / @JhoannaBINQ
/ 07:27 PM January 19, 2018

#BlackFridayforPressFreedom: Warning up on more serious problem facing Philippine media. PHOTO/Noy Morcoso

Hundreds of journalists, bloggers and activists wearing black shirts flocked to Boy Scout Circle in Quezon City on Friday to join the protest dubbed as “#BlackFridayforPressFreedom” to condemn the “series of attacks” against press freedom.

The protest, led by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), was one of the first in a series of mass actions against the administration’s supposed “attacks” against media institutions.

The rally was prompted by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) order to revoke the articles of incorporation of news website Rappler for allegedly violating ownership rules and the House of Representatives’ move to amend Constitutional provision on free expression.

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In a speech during the program, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism Executive Director Malou Mangahas said the Philippine press faces more serious problems as several Catholic radio stations across the country are in danger of shutdown as the House of Representatives did not renew their franchise.

Mangahas also cited ABS-CBN’s franchise, which is in danger of not being renewed, and the predicament of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

“Ang press freedom, ang freedom of expression nakasandig ang people’s right to know,” she said.

“Kung walang media na malaya, walang pwede mag-cover nang buo at walang hadlang tungkol sa [constituent assembly], sa Charter change, sa federalism, at pati na siguro yung sinasabing [revolutionary government] na babala,” she added.

(If there’s no free press, no one would cover Con-ass, Cha-cha, federalism and the revolutionary government.)

Mangahas said that the rally was only the first in the series of activities in the coming months to uphold and defend press freedom.

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