[Statement] We will hold the line with Rappler! – Kalipunan

We will hold the line with Rappler! – Kalipunan

The Kalipunan condemns the arrest of Rappler’s Maria Ressa. The manner of arrest, the serving of warrant after office hour and NBI personnel preventing Rappler staff from taking video footage, bespeaks of the sinister nature with which the government is silencing its perceived enemies.

Kalipunan expresses its support and encouragement to the media outfit Rappler, and its chief executive officer Maria Ressa.

“Mr. Duterte is trying to strangulate what little press freedom we have,” Josua Mata, Secretary General of Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO), said. “We will not allow him to succeed! We will hold the line with Rappler,” Mata added.

“The arrest of journalist Maria Ressa is an attack on press freedom, an attack on critics of the Philippine government,” Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) and World March of Women. “It is also an attack on social movements that need a free press to push for our basic demands for jobs and justice,” Enriquez emphatically added.

“Curtailing press freedom has always been the favorite device of dictators to prevent stories that challenges their narratives from reaching the consciousness of the people. The recent arrest of Rappler’s Maria Ressa is the current government’s way of protecting its narrative built on broken promises,” Jaybee Garganera, National Coordinator of Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM), declared.

The arrest emanates from the recent Department of Justice (DOJ) recent approval of the filing of a cyber libel case against Ressa and her reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr., accordingly, for violating Section 4 (c)(4) of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 (Republic Act No. 10175).

The case stemmed from the complaint filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng, who was the subject of a Rappler article titled “CJ [then Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona] using SUVs of controversial businessman” — “CJ” referring to then-, who was then under an impeachment trial.

The businessman rumored to be close to the administration denied the allegation and requested that the article be taken down, but Rappler declined saying its basic press freedom.

the justice department cited “defamation” as the basis for the ruling which led to the arrest.

“The arrest is totally abhorrent in democratic societies which recognize the positive role of the press. Particularly in the case of the Philippines, excesses committed by governments were only exposed to the greater number of masses through the press, hence the Philippine press has always been at the service of Filipino people,” Soc Banzuela, National Coordinator of Pambansang Kilusan ng mga Samahang Magsasaka (PAKISAMA), said.

“Fortunately, we, the people are not helpless in this case. Let us use the very medium this government is trying to control—the online information,” Wilson Fortaleza of Partido Manggagawa (PM), said. “We, therefore, appeal to all freedom loving individuals to continue posting and reposting articles that challenges this draconian act, articles that shed light why this government is sacrificing the institutional press in favor of an individual businessman,” Fortaleza added.

Kalipunan calls on the people to dig deeper into the stories this regime wants to bury, and narrate them as they are.

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