Cebu Citizens-Press Council alarmed by ‘matrix’ linking media groups to ouster plot
CEBU CITY — The Cebu Citizens-Press Council (CCPC) has expressed concerns over the matrix linking journalists and media groups to an ouster plot against President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a statement, the council said the matrix didn’t show that it was evidence-based; and thus, could be just self-serving.
CCPC said the allegations of a conspiracy between media and other sectors did not mention specific incidents or provide documents that could prove the existence of the “plot.” Moreover, it was released after a special report on the alleged link of the First Family to illegal drugs, and the size of their wealth was made public.
“We are tempted to call it garbage, but we resist. Instead, we ask media consumers for caution in assessing the accusation,” the CCPC said.
“We cannot help but be alarmed. A matrix presented by public officials could lead to something more than a verbal attack from those criticized. In the campaign on illegal drugs, many of those in the matrix were killed. The result from the media matrix could be worse: a muzzled or cowed press and journalists in jail, missing, or dead,” it added.
The council said the media knows that its work usually draws the ire of the government.
While the matrix may be seen as a collective assault on the press, the CCPC said the news media outlets named in the matrix can defend their reports.
“The problem stands out though: Which of the mass of stories from media are false or rigged news? Which conduct outside the newsroom is deemed subversive?” it said.
The CCPC also stressed that the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) itself has admitted that they see “no specific threat” for now.
“We encourage the public to help defend our democratic institutions and systems. They may call out errors of media. And, more crucially, they can avert any attempt to stifle criticism against the conduct of those who govern,” it said. /ee
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