UPLB alumni, faculty, students slam Manicad over press freedom view
MANILA, Philippines — Administration Senate bet and former journalist Rodrigo “Jiggy” Manicad reaped the ire of University of the Philippines (UP) Los Baños Communication Arts alumni, faculty, and students following statements he made on the issue of the country’s press freedom.
“Manicad’s statements belie the state-led pressures exerted on national and local media entities and diminish the systematic harassment and violence visiting journalists, broadcasters and publications in the country,” said a joint statement released on Thursday.
“These statements betray the most indispensable principles of journalism and public communication and are inconsistent with the honored values of the AB Communication Arts program,” the statement added.
The statement was prepared by alumni, faculty members and students of UPLB’s Communication Arts Department, Department of Humanities and Graduate Studies Programs.
“We join all the voices demanding that our leaders — both current and aspiring — protect press freedom and vigorously challenge those who mean this freedom harm,” the statement added.
Manicad who graduated from UPLB with a Communication Arts degree in 1994, made the statement during his interview with ONE News’ “The Chiefs” which was aired last Jan. 28. Manicad is gunning for a Senate seat in the May midterm polls under the PDP-Laban banner.
In the interview, the former broadcast journalist said the government had a basis when it filed charges against online news website Rappler.
“I think may basis yung government to say that may foreign fund na pumasok sa Rappler, to be honest about it. And it’s a violation of the Constitution. Yun ang nakikitang punto ng pamahalaan,” Manicad said.
“Not because of that handling, may isang nagalit at pinaimbestigahan. So does it really translate to an attack to press freedom? Or, bakit yung iba namang network hindi naman ganon?” he added.
Rappler, which had irked President Rodrigo Duterte for its critical coverage of his administration, is facing tax evasion and cyber libel charges. /muf
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