Freedom of Expression Conference -FreeXP.con Highlights

Freedom of Expression Conference or FreeXP.con

Freedom of Expression Conference or FreeXP.con held last December 1 to 2, 2017 was organized by the Human Rights Online Philippines The conference highlighted the situation of freedom of expression (FoE) in the Philippines, which continues to be under threat with impunity. From human rights defenders, media and journalists, bloggers and individuals who are critical of the government are subjected to rampant and highly coordinated “trolling”, online abuse and smear campaign, in order to seed disinformation and foment targeted attacks, which undermines enjoyment of their right to freedom of expression, and democracy in the Philippines. This onslaught of online abuse represents a real threat to the freedom of expression both online and offline, psychological and even the physical safety of human rights defenders, journalists and individuals critical of the government.

Free XP.con explored some of these trends with human rights defenders, legal experts, journalists and victims of reported online abuse in the Philippines. The conference provided venue for sharing of experiences and responses to the online threats and disinformation, and generating evidence-based concrete platform of actions in defending the FoE against the culture of impunity and a system set-up to silence dissent in the country.

Free XP.con including 7th Human Rights Pinduteros Choice Awards is a milestone of the HRonlinePH project, “Protection and empowerment of human rights defenders in the Philippines” with support of the British Embassy Manila under its British Embassy Programme Fund.

Learning sessions

  • Why Freedom of Expression Matters? Challenges to online freedom of expression and media
  • Fake news, misinformation, responsible journalism and the Future of online media
  • Countering online harassment, abuse, trolling and hate speech
  • Strengthening Digital Security and Data Protection against Hacking, Data Interception and Online Surveillance
  • Digital Activism: Promoting Human Rights Online and Offline


  • Situation of human rights defenders and advocates for the right to freedom of expression (FoE) in the Philippines
  • Recommendations and proposals on identified key issues and challenges of FoE

Moving forward

  • Presentation and discussion of the draft Conference Declaration on Freedom of Expression


Mr. Ed Lingao, Journalist / TV5

Atty. Gilbert Andres
Legal Specialist on Freedom of Expression
Association for Freedom of Expression Coalition-Southeast Asia

Ms. Lucille Sodipe, Journalist, Vera Files

Mr. Luis Gorgonio, Journalist, News Online Editor














Atty. Marlon Anthony Tonson, Internet freedom advocate
Co-convenor Philippine Internet Freedom Alliance (PIFA)

Ms. Cecile Lero, Freedom of Expression Advocate

Ms. Lisa Garcia, Gender and ICT specialist
Executive Director, Foundation for Media Alternatives (FMA)

Mr. JC Olaivar, Digital Security Incident Expert, Access Now













Ms. Cha Roque, Digital Campaign Advocacy Expert, DAKILA

Mr. Marc Siapno
Division Chief for Public affairs and Strategic Communications Office, Commission on Human Rights (CHR)