UP College of Mass Communication calls Rappler's shutdown order a threat to press freedom

Published July 1, 2022, 7:32 PM

by Manila Bulletin

The University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UPCMC) released a statement on Thursday, June 30, expressing its concern over the recent actions done by the government to “restrict the operations” of legitimate media institutions.

(UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES DILIMAN FACEBOOK)

This is in line with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)’s issuance of an order to shut down the online news organization Rappler.

“The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision against Rappler comes only a week after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ruling against red-tagged media organizations and broadcast block timers. These developments follow the much earlier non-renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN,” said in the statement.

According to UPCMC, the restrictions on print, broadcast, or online media organizations indicate a “lack of respect for the rights of Filipino citizens to a free press and the freedom of information.”

The UPCMC called these actions “concerted efforts” to silence the voices that are “critical of government.”

“Moreover, they are particularly concerning as they have been taken in the last days of the Duterte Administration and seemingly set the stage for the further disregard of the Constitutional mandate for a free press (Article III, Sections 4 and 7),” added UPCMC.

Also, the UPCMC encouraged SEC and the NTC to not allow their regulatory agencies to be used against legitimate media.

“We call on the government to respect the role of responsible media as watchdogs of democracy and defenders of our right to free press and free speech,” said UPCMC. (Luisa Cabato)

 
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