5 April 2020

The editor in chief of the University of the East Dawn was allegedly forced by barangay officials in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija to issue a public apology to teachers he had offended with statements critical of President Rodrigo Duterte and government efforts to address the Covid-19 emergency.

Redwire, an independent publication run by students of UE-Manila that first broke the news, quoted friends who were in contact with the campus journalist as saying that the barangay officials threatened to file a libel case against him and have him picked up by police if he refused to apologize.

A video posted on the Dawn editor’s social media account Sunday afternoon, April 5, showed him making the “apology,” taking his cue from persons outside the frame of the image to begin reading the message he had prepared on his phone, a possible indication he was under duress at the time.

After apologizing to the teachers, the campus journalist went on to say: “Humihingi din ako ng tawad sa institusyon ng Kabyawan Publication kasama na rin ang mga miyembro at guro na kasama rito. Bilang estudyante at mamamayan, naniniwala ako na ang pag-unlad ay matatamo sa maraming paraan, maaaring ang paniniwala ng isa ay naiiba ngunit ‘di ibig sabihin nito ay mali. Inaamin ko po na ako ay nagkamali, at hindi na muling mauulit ang pangyayari.”

(I am also asking forgiveness from the institution Kabyawan Publication together with the members and teachers involved with it. As a student and citizen, I believe that progress can be achieved in many ways, and that one’s belief may be different from another’s but that does not mean it is wrong. I admit to my mistake and will not commit it again.)

However, the video was taken down early Sunday evening after the comments section was flooded by angry reactions. Before removing the video, the campus journalist posted a comment saying a former teacher had asked him to take it down.

NUJP Safety Office