Today, you and I enjoy the freedom to write and publish our thoughts and feelings. All my children were born in an age where freedom of expression and the right to communicate are taken for granted. I fear that this freedom is in grave danger if we let it be.
It was not so from 1972 to the 80s when martial law under then Pres. Marcos was in effect. I witnessed the shutting down of ALL media outlets (TV, print, radio) except those that broadcasted news favorable to the sitting administration.
The pressure on Inquirer’s owners to sell their shares, the charges against Rappler (which I see as an overkill by SEC), and the announcement that Interaksyon.com is closing soon…..all these make me very, very uncomfortable and fearful that after mainstream media, bloggers and netizens like you and I will be next.
Spokespersons for the government are trying to assuage us that this is not martial law the Marcosian way — the President has not physically shut down these media outlets, they say. There are legal processes in place, they say. Sure…the strategies are no longer physical. The scare tactics, just like media strategies, have gone digital.
When I was asked if I wanted to sign this statement by bloggers, I willingly did so. Today, along with other bloggers who signed, I am posting this on my blog for my children and grandchildren to see. Long after I am gone, I want them to know that, at least for one moment, I tried to fight to keep the freedom they know INTACT and FREE FROM INTIMIDATION.
If you are also a blogger or netizen, and the statement below resonates with you, please join us by adding your name to this growing list of signatories via this Google Form.
In your social media posts, please use also the following hashtags:
Statement: Bloggers for Freedom
We concerned Filipino bloggers stand for the rights to free expression and to free speech. And our first responsibility is to protect these rights.
We thus stand with Rappler, its right to exist, the rights of its working journalists and contributors, and the rights of its community of readers.
We stand against moves to silence and scare journalists, bloggers and media practitioners just because the President and his ardent supporters dislike their news and views.
Now is a time for making choices amid battles between truth and lies, debate and dissonance, democracy and dictatorship.
We sign our names here to tell everyone we have made a choice. We are bloggers for freedom.
Myk Mykapalaran Cruz
James Romer V. Velina
Mc Richard Viana Paglicawan
Saul de Jesus
Mark Will Mayo Magallanes
Rhadem Camlian Morados
Czarina Maye Noche
John Clifford Sibayan
Inday Espina Varona
Eugene Alvin Villar
Reynaldo Pagsolingan Jr.
Renz Daniel de Vera
Published on January 19, 2018, Black Friday.