SEC’s revocation of Rappler’s license to operate, a move to silence critical voices, reminiscent of Martial Law
Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP) condemns the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to revoke Rappler’s license to operate. It is an obvious and blatant move to silence those perceived to be critical of the government. It is an attack on freedom of the press and a gross violation of the right to free expression.
It is so obvious that Rappler was targeted because it has earned the ire of President Rodrigo Duterte and his rabid supporters like Mocha Uson due to its continuous publication of articles critical of Duterte’s programs such as the violent ‘war on drugs’, extra judicial killings and many more.
It is reminiscent of martial law, when even without its formal declaration by President Rodrigo Duterte, he is using and abusing laws to assault independent journalism, staunch critics and members of the opposition as well as undermine democratic institutions.
It is reminiscent of martial law, when those who expose truth and express disagreement with the dictator and his cohorts will suffer the consequences of being violated, persecuted and tagged as enemies of the state.
It is reminiscent of martial law, when the government uses different forms of violence to silence critical voices like censorship, shutting down of media offices and even killings and enforced disappearance. It uses fake news and alternative facts to distort the truth and deodorize its anti-human rights and anti-democratic policies.
Freedom of the press, speech and expressions are enshrined in the Bill of Rights of the Philippine Constitution and in international human rights law so that it will be protected against interference of abusive governments.
Once again we are called to defend our cherished fundamental freedoms and God-given rights. No single entity can hold the line. We, individuals, groups, organizations and institutions, must join the frontlines. Defend human rights we must. Resist repression and tyranny we will!
MR. EMMANUEL AMISTAD
TASK FORCE DETAINEES OF THE PHILIPPINES
16 January 2018
For more information pls contact:
Emmanuel Amistad, Executive Director: Mobile: 09985481925; firstname.lastname@example.org
Egay Cabalitan, Advocacy Staff: Mobile: 09164554321; email@example.com
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