[Statement] Press Freedom is Everyone’s Right #StandWithRappler -HRonlinePH.com

Press Freedom is Everyone’s Right #StandWithRappler

The Human Rights Online Philippines (HRonlinePH) expresses alarming concern over the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to cancel the certificate of incorporation of Rappler, an online news site for allegedly violating the ownership restrictions.

Media regulation is one thing. Political vengeance is another. The way the Duterte government works, the motive is quite obvious. It is gagging the media and eliminating dissenters.

We should take advantage that we are still under a democratic form of government while the charter change is underway. Freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental rights that are fully guaranteed in our Constitution. Both are essentials to ensure transparency and accountability in our government.

The Freedom of Expression Conference Declaration https://hronlineph.com/freexp-con/freedom-of-expression-conference-declaration/ emphasized that the government has the obligation to foster an enabling environment for freedom of expression by taking measures to promote media and digital literacy, including but not limited to, engaging with civil society organizations and other stakeholders to address the negative effects of disinformation and propaganda.

But the government is sending us with a clear message. It does not tolerate dissent. It does not allow critical voices. All of us including all netizens are now vulnerable to attack from trolls to government sanctions.

Let us make use of what we have to protect these rights. The Internet provides with means to stand and fight back. We should continuously promote human rights. We should cover our websites with news and updates on human rights issues. We should share photos and videos of actual footages that show the reality of human rights on the ground. We should create a viral trend in Twitter and Facebook. We should swamp the chat rooms to engage others in online public discourse. We should occupy every nook and corner of cyberspace whenever human rights are concerned.

Our rights including our right to freedom of expression and the press are never handed over to us in a silver platter. It is almost always the fruit of our resistance, of our struggle for truth and justice, and for freedom and democracy.

Let us DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM! Let us DEFEND RAPPLER!

#WagMatakotMagpahayag para sa #HumanRights

Human Rights Online Philippines
January 16, 2018

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