On the dismissal of the cyberlibel case against Nordis journalists

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Altermidya Network welcomes the dismissal of the cyberlibel case against Northern Dispatch journalists Kimberlie Quitasol and Khim Russel Abalos.

While we share the triumph of our colleagues over the apparent intimidation of state forces on community journalists, we continue our call to decriminalize libel in all forms. Libel, including cyberlibel, has been weaponized for decades to attack journalists whose task is to report the truth.

We reiterate our demand to drop the cyberlibel charges against independent journalists including Inday Espina-Varona, as well as other outrageous charges against our colleagues such as Frenchie Mae Cumpio and Anne Krueger.

We call on the public to join us in defending press freedom and free expression!

Read Northern Dispatch’s statement on the dismissal of the cyberlibel case against its staff:

Northern Dispatch welcomes the court’s dismissal of the cyber libel charges against our editor-in-chief Kimberlie Quitasol and reporter Khim Russel Abalos. The court’s decision affirms our commitment to truthful reporting and the public good.

The case stemmed from the allegations of then-Police Regional Office Cordillera R’win Pagkalinawan that Quitasol and Abalos purposely omitted the words “kapag nanlaban” when they reported the public condemnation of his statement to deploy snipers to shoot communists organizing protests during the early part of the pandemic.

We reiterate our call to public officials to be more circumspect in their declarations and stop blaming the media whenever they receive flak for their irresponsible statements.

And yet again we call on the administration to pursue the decriminalization of libel, cyber and otherwise, if we want to strive for a true democracy.

 

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