Student journalists condemn attacks on press freedom

“Several campus publications and student journalists across the country have been subjected to various forms of harassment, red-tagging and military surveillance.”

MANILA — Student journalists under the banner of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) held a protest action today, Jan. 17, condemning what they called as state-perpetuated violence and repression of press freedom and other democratic rights.

The CEGP criticized not only the gag order against Rappler but also the threats made by President Rodrigo Duterte against the Philippine Daily Inquirer and ABS-CBN.

The campus press likewise condemned the attacks on alternative media outfits, citing the red tagging of Radio ni Juan’s Kathyrine Cortez and the arrest and detention of Northern Dispatch columnist Sherwin de Vera.

The CEGP said student publications are also targeted by the fascist regime. “Several campus publications and student journalists across the country have been subjected to various forms of harassment, red-tagging and military surveillance,” the group said.

In September 2017, the editors and staff of a student publication in Camarines Sur received a message from the military, saying that the student journalists are included in the watch list of Duterte’s counterinsurgency program Oplan Kapayapaan.

Photojournalists covering the protest action eventually joined the protest.

In a statement, the media and artists alliance, Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity, said, “The Duterte regime aims to silence the press and clamp down of citizens’ right to free expression as prelude for an indefinite period of one-man rule. That is what the whole governance pivot aims for.”

“It will be up to us, media and the citizenry, to work together to thwart the dark goals of the tyrant Duterte. It will be up to us to resist any return to dictatorship in the Philippines,” LODI said.

Photos by TONYO CRUZ
(http://bulatlat.com)

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