This is what the Duterte government, through its National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict, has mounted by red-tagging not only the alternative media but even critical segments of the dominant media.

The baseless accusations against alternative media outfits at a Senate hearing and the arrest, a week later, of Manila Today editor Lady Ann Salem on the clearly ludicrous charges of possessing firearms and explosives, send a clear message: “Shut up or we will shut you up. We will do it because we can.”

This goes beyond the mere intolerance for criticism and dissent of the President. This is the State and all its might being brought to bear against our rights and liberties in order to whip us into line and turn us into sheep, the logical progression of the impunity that informs the continuing bloodshed of the “war on drugs” and the murders of activists, lawyers, human rights defenders, farmers, indigenous peoples, peace advocates, and journalists.

The President and his minions may have thought forcing the country’s largest network off the air would allow them to control the narrative. They failed. So now they seek to muzzle all other truth tellers.
But only if we let them.

We, journalists, news organizations, media groups, academics, civil society organizations, and concerned citizens declare that we will not let this be. We affirm that the only proper response to government efforts to suppress independent voices is resistance, just as it was the only proper response to another dictator a generation ago.

To our fellow Filipinos, let us defend democracy and rule of law.

Let us not be silenced.

Let us remain a free people, a free nation.








An assault on the foundations of democracy

33 signatures

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An assault on the foundations of democracy

47 signatures

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