Lorenzana backs NTC order to block websites linked to Reds
MANILA, Philippines — Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana on Thursday defended the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) order to block access to over two dozen websites of groups allegedly linked to the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP), saying the government respects free speech but does not tolerate “disinformation.”
“We are not against free speech, in fact, we encourage and protect it,” Lorenzana told reporters. “It is disinformation against the government that we are against.”
The NTC through Commissioner Gamaliel Cordoba ordered internet service providers (ISPs) in the country to block the website of CPP, its armed wing, the New People’s Army (NPA), the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), and other supposed communist-linked websites on the request of National Security Adviser Hermogenes Esperon.
The NTC ordered the ISPs to block access to 27 websites “affiliated to and are supporting” the CPP-NPA-NDFP, which the Philippine government designated as terrorist organizations.
Telecommunications companies PLDT Inc. and Converge ICT Solutions Inc. said they have already complied with the NTC order.
Lorenzana said that aside from limiting misinformation, the government’s move would also “prevent the recruitment of more youths” into the communist movement.
“They are so gullible and susceptible to propaganda and disinformation,” Lorenzana said.