[Statement] #BlockMarcos calls to #DefendPressFreedom

#BlockMarcos calls to #DefendPressFreedom

#BlockMarcos stands with Rappler and condemns the SEC’s decision to revoke its license to operate. This is clearly an assault on the freedom of the press, as well as a shrewd attempt by the Duterte regime to silence its staunchest critics. The last time a media company was shut down, the Philippines was under the clutches of Ferdinand Marcos’ dictatorship—a tumultuous time in history that we do not wish to relive.

The revocation of Rappler’s license has more to do with its critical editorial stance towards the President than its alleged violation of laws on nationality restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities. Rappler is a threat to any aspiring dictator because it refuses to act like a public relations arm of the Duterte regime. Instead, it fulfills its role as a media organization, which is to speak truth to power.

President Duterte’s repeated and unabashed threats against Rappler—and against his most strident detractors in the media—have finally crystallized into this political attack. It is an attack not only against Rappler, but against responsible journalism and ultimately, against a free press.

A country that allows media organizations to be shut down by the state, is a country that welcomes dictatorship and all the abuses that come under a government with absolute power. #BlockMarcos calls to #DefendPressFreedom. We stand with Rappler and condemn the belligerent destruction of critical and investigative journalism in the country.

15 January 2018

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