Stand with Rappler, assert press freedom

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We in the alternative media community stand in defiance with Rappler and denounce the Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) order to shut down the online media outfit.

On June 28, merely two days before the Duterte administration ends, the SEC issued an order that affirmed its previous decision to revoke the certificates of incorporation of Rappler. This is part of the Duterte administration’s parting gift before it steps down on June 30: a reiteration of its legacy of unrelenting attacks and hostility towards truth and truth-tellers. Along with this latest attack, President Duterte himself admitted that he “used presidential powers” to shutdown ABS-CBN.

The SEC order is both familiar and atrocious, the same tune played by the National Telecommunications Commission when it ordered internet service providers this month to block the websites of alternative media Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly. These are clear and brazen forms of censorship, which we anticipate will continue in the coming months under the incoming administration.

These attacks by the state do not only deliver critical blows to press freedom but also directly attack the people’s right to know by controlling the information that reaches the public – all with the aim to perpetuate itself in power.

We denounce how several government institutions are being used against the independent media in recent days, with public officials brandishing how they can weaponize laws, rules, and regulations to strike down the media and the administration’s perceived critics.

We encourage our fellow media practitioners in both the alternative and dominant media to stand with Rappler and continue to assert press freedom. As forces converge to play concerted attacks against press freedom and the people’s right to information, we call on every freedom-loving Filipino to lend their voice as we play out an ensemble of defiance. Together, we fight back and defend our freedoms against those who routinely attempt to suppress them.

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