By Dominique Gabriel G. Bañaga
The Negros chapter of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) held a Black Friday rally yesterday afternoon protesting the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, expressing opposition to the recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision to revoke the certificate of incorporation for online news website Rappler on allegations of violations to constitutional restrictions on foreign ownership of mass media.
NUJP-Negros Chairperson Marchel Espina called the move “clear harassment and intimidation.”
“This is a blatant attempt to undermine the role of the media,” she said.
Espina also called the planned shutdown of InterAksyon.com, the only news website for the TV5 Network, “demoralizing.”
However, according to a statement released by InterAksyon Editor-in-Chief Roby Alampay, the shut down will not cease news operations, but rather it is a consolidation of TV5 brands.
“TV5 will consolidate all digital news properties under news5.com.ph,” he said.
The NUJP-Negros chair also noted, any attempt to attack the media is also an attack to the freedom of the press.
Earlier this week, National Press Club President Paul Gutierrez noted, in a lengthy Facebook post, “‘Responsible journalism’ means complying with the law.”
“We cannot be swayed by the emotion of the moment and go along with the general sentiment that press freedom has been threatened less we be accused of inconsistency,” he went on to say. “In the broader Philippine media industry, Rappler is just one among the thousands of media entities in the country and whose operations have remained free.”
Espina went on the claim the Rappler situation is being used as a distraction from charter change and the tax reform law, which she characterized as “real issues.”/DGB, WDJ