The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) is not at all surprised that the country consistently slid down lower in the World Press Freedom Index for the past three years.
We affirm the findings of the RSF that the situation of press freedom in the country is difficult especially amid the pandemic.
Besides the ABS-CBN shutdown, ‘grotesque judicial harassment’ against Rappler, online attacks against alternative media outfits cited by the RSF, we also documented 27 cases of libel and cyberlibel against journalists, which were mostly filed last year.
What is even more vicious under this administration is how it treats journalists as enemies of the state. Independent journalists are routinely labeled as left-leaning. A case in point is that of community journalist Frenchie Mae Cumpio, who was labeled as a terrorist and who remains in prison over trumped-up charges.
Under the new Anti-Terror Law, it would be more convenient and easier for state security forces and the powers-that-be to tag journalists as terrorists should they perceive our reports as against their official narrative.
Amid the heightening attacks on press freedom, we call on our colleagues to unite in defending the truth and our democracy. #
April 20, 2021