UST campus press, media orgs decry ‘blatant attacks’ on press freedom


THOMASIAN student publications and media organizations slammed on Wednesday efforts by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte’s to stifle press freedom, the latest of which is the Malacañang ban on Rappler staff.

In a statement, the student-run campus publications and media organizations said they would continue to uphold press freedom and the democratic rights of Filipinos in an “increasingly authoritarian regime.”

“We vehemently resist efforts to close down media outlets and organizations, which are nothing but blatant acts to stifle press freedom and silence dissent in the country,” the statement read.

The statement also expressed dismay over President Duterte’s intimidation of critics and support for pro-administration bloggers like Mocha Uson, who was appointed assistant secretary of the Presidential Communications Operations Office.

“We loudly decry President Duterte’s attacks on the press and the administration’s attempts to discredit the media with its active support to spreading online disinformation,” the statement read.

It cited incidents showing the administration’s “blatant attacks” on the press such as the revocation of media outlet Rappler’s certificate of registration, the President’s threats to shut down ABS-CBN and the Philippine Daily Inquirer for their allegedly biased reportage, and the blocking of the license renewal of at least 54 radio stations operated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines.

Signatories include Varsitarian Editor in Chief Amierielle Anne Bulan; Tomasinoweb Executive Editor Philip Jamilla; Noelle Aetana Malagkit, Thomasian Circle of Talents chief communications officer; Joshua Carl Palomera, Thomasian Writers Guild president; The Flame Editor in Chief Mikkah Factor; La Stampa Tomasino Editor in Chief Mary Joy Abalos; Purple Gazette Editor in Chief Teltel Tagudando; Patricia Lee Yanga, president of the UST Journalism Society and Neal Andreu Tayco, president of the UST Literary Society.


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