The Supreme Court is hearing oral arguments on petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020. We, editors and reporters of news organizations around the Philippines, join the voices of various sectors opposing provisions of the law that trample upon fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of the press.

Section 9 of the ATA proscribes speech, proclamations, writings, emblems, and banners that fall under the new crime of “inciting to terrorism,” imposing a penalty of 12 years in prison. As the law fails to provide a clear definition of terrorism and is vague about what constitutes acts of terrorism, Section 9 could make media practitioners vulnerable to wrongful charges and arrests, producing  a  chilling effect on all media practice.

Government’s assurance that protection clauses are in place fly in the face of the experience of news organizations and journalists who have been red-tagged and branded as “terrorists” by government and security officials.  With the government’s anti-insurgency campaign causing a rise in killings of activists, we fear for the safety of our colleagues.

We call on the government to uphold the freedom of the press. We demand that the rights and safety of journalists and media houses be respected and protected at all times. Many of us have seen how efforts to go after “enemies of the people” have led to zealous securitization of the government’s response to the problems of the country.

The ATA will not succeed in reducing the threat of terrorism with over-reaching prohibitions on expressive as well as political freedoms. It will reduce this country to a field of submissive and unquestioning individuals, to be herded like sheep by the police and the military. We reject the Anti-Terrorism Act!


Media Organizations

  1. Tess Bacalla for Asia Democracy Chronicles
  2. Felix Espinida Jr. for BicolExpress.Net
  3. Len Olea for Bulatlat
  4. Red Batario for the Center for Community Journalism and Development
  5. Melinda De Jesus for Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
  6. Francis Allan Angelo for the Daily Guardian
  7. Herbie Gomez for the Gold Star Daily
  8. Carolyn Arguillas for Mindanews
  9. Jonathan de Santos for the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
  10. Carmela Fonbuena for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)
  11. Ariel Sebellino for the Philippine Press Institute (PPI)
  12. Ezra Acayan for the Photojournalist’s Center of the Philippines (PCP)
  13. Glenda Gloria for Rappler
  14. Bobby Labalan for Sorsogon Organization of News Writers, Announcers and Reporters (SONAR) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Sorsogon
  15. Lucia Tangi for the U.P. Department of Journalism
  16. Ellen Tordesillas for VERA Files
  17. Sol Juvida for Women Writers in Media

In their individual capacities: 

1. Michelle Abad, Rappler

2. Julie Alipala, Philippine Daily Inquirer – Mindanao

3. Patricia Aquino, Pumapodcast

4. Ana Corina Arceo, Rappler

5. Jez Aznar

6. Samantha Bagayas, Rappler

7. Rhaydz Barcia, Manila Times and Rappler

8. Bernice Beltran, PCP

9. Karina Bolasco

10. Jairo Bolledo, Rappler

11. Lian Buan, Rappler

12. Kaye Cabal, Rappler

13. Gaea Katreena Cabico

14. Bhal Cabrera, Mindanao News Express

15. Amalia Cabusao, PPI

16. Gerg Cahiles

17. Gerard Carreon, PCP

18. Mara Cepeda, Rappler

19. Adelle Chua

20. Ian Nicolas Cigaral

21. Alec Corpuz, PCP

22. Sheila Coronel

23. Cong B. Corrales, Mindanao Gold Star Daily

24. Neni Sta Romana Cruz

25. Bea Cupin, Rappler

26. Noemi Lardizabal Dado

27. Camille Diola

28. Jimmy Domingo, PCP

29. Ceres Doyo

30. Camille Elemia, Rappler

31. Maria Elena Catajan

32. Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler

33. Marchel Espina

34. Nonoy Espina, NUJP

35. Sharlene Festin, PCP

36. Chay Hofileña, Rappler

37. Karol Ilagan, PCIJ

38. Mila Garcia

39. Jodesz Gavilan, Rappler

40. Miriam Grace Go, Rappler

41. JC Gotinga

42. Xave Gregorio

43. Kenneth Roland Guda, PCIJ

44. Jules Guiang, Rappler

45. Carljoe Javier, Pumapodcast

46. LeAnne Jazul, Rappler

47. Jee Jeronimo, Rappler

48. Sol Juvida

49. Victor D. Kintanar, PCP

50. Dwight De Leon, Rappler

51. Marguerite de Leon, Rappler

52. Raffy Lerma, PCP

53. Ed Lingao

54. Barnaby Lo

55. Rommel Lopez,

56. Franco Luna

57. Pauline Macaraeg, Rappler

58. Joan Maglipon

59. Bonz Magsambol, Rappler

60. Prinz Magtulis

61. Julius Mariveles, Digital News Exchange

62. Bullit Marquez

63. Allan Mediante, BusinessWeek Mindanao

64. Manny Mogato

65. John Nery, columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer

66. Joyce Pañares, Manila Standard

67. Bella Perez-Rubio

68. Chris Quintana, PCP

69. Pia Ranada, Rappler

70. James Relativo

71. Maria Ressa Rappler

72. Jojo Riñoza, PCP

73. Rick Rocamora, PCP

74. Glen Ray Roluna Mindanao News Express

75. Chery Salazar, PCIJ

76. Mark Z. Saludes, PCP

77. David Santos

78. Basilio Sepe, PCP

79. Fernando Sepe Jr., PCP

80. Raisa Marielle Serafica, Rappler

81. Paulyn Sicam

82. Floreen Simon, PCIJ

83. Rambo Talabong, Rappler

84. Maria Tan, PCP

85. Rochit Tanedo

86. Cristina Gratia Tantengco, Pumapodcast

87. Raffy Tima

88. Sofia Tomacruz, Rappler

89. Bernadette Uy, PCP

90. Inday Espina Varona

91. Chito dela Vega, Rappler

92. Daniel Vicedo, PCP

93. Pau Villanueva, PCP

94. Patricia Lourdes Viray

95. Sofia Virtudes, Rappler

96. Villamor C. Visaya Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer – Luzon

97. Marites Vitug, Rappler