[Statement] Defend Our Rights and Freedoms! Hold the Line! -TFDP
It was a sad day last June 15, 2020, as we witnessed a legal setback that focused on the perils of being practitioners, believers, and defenders of a free press. A court found Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos, Jr. guilty of cyber-libel. Pending an appeal, they remain free on post-conviction bail.
Indeed, these are the worst of times – the rise of populist and authoritarian leaders, the ever-constricting space for democratic discussions and debate, and a global pandemic with no end in sight.
We cannot isolate this latest debacle from the systematic and widespread attacks by this administration on our fundamental rights and freedoms.
Absent martial law, it has used cunningly the law as a weapon to topple down its perceived enemies, remove them from office, detain and hold a senator incommunicado, shut down a media giant and now, convict journalists of cyber-libel.
It has resorted to name-calling, red-tagging, public shaming, and the like to attack human rights defenders, social activists, and all those critical of government policy. It has divided our nation between those who assert a free and democratic society and those who wish a throwback to the dark days of dictatorship.
Are we drifting to the age of kings who demand absolute loyalty and blind obedience from its subjects? Are we prepared to surrender our free speech, free press, right to organize, and right to life, for another round of tyranny?
Read complete statement @tfdp.net
All submissions are republished and redistributed in the same way that it was originally published online and sent to us. We may edit submission in a way that does not alter or change the original material.
Human Rights Online Philippines does not hold copyright over these materials. Author/s and original source/s of information are retained including the URL contained within the tagline and byline of the articles, news information, photos, etc