Law on Mass Media Second Exercise, as stated in the printout.

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35 thoughts on “Law on Mass Media 2nd Exercise

  1. Philippines: threat to indict news site ‘assault on press freedom’

    One of the primary principles enunciated by Justice Holmes in his dissent was an unprecedented emphasis on the importance of free speech, seeing as to how truths are perfected within the context of a free marketplace of ideas where an individual’s truth is not imposed upon a certain group of people.

    He also says that the acceptance of an opposition implies that the opposition is viewed as powerless, and that the more certain you are of your views, ideologies, and actions, the more you are hungry to silence those who oppose and criticize.

    President Rodrigo Duterte is the opposite of Justice Holmes. For President Duterte, he sought to shut down one of his most notorious enemies, the news outlet Rappler, an organization that continuously and relentlessly criticizes the different questionable moves of the government, including, but not limited to, the infuriating drug war that has left tons of mostly poor people dead.

    As said in the article, Rappler is not surprised that Duterte is zeroing in on a news outlet that has remained critical of his regime. His track record when it comes to dealing with critical journalists, as seen in this additional article (, led to Rappler believing it was only a matter of time before Duterte shifted his eyes unto them.

    As said in the additional article, in a joint report by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ), Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR), National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and the Philippine Press Institute (PPI), it states that there were “killing of 9 journalists, 16 libel cases, 14 cases of online harassment, 11 death threats, 6 slay attempts, 6 cases of harassment, 5 cases of intimidation, 4 cases of website attack, revoked registration or denied franchise renewal, verbal abuse, strafing, and police surveillance of journalists and media agencies.”

    With that said, Duterte has added another chapter to his battle against the freedom of the press with his continued battle against Rappler and has displayed, yet again, how uncertain he is of his actions and idelogies by threatening to silence any and all opposition.

  2. DOJ indicts Rappler, Maria Ressa, reporter for cyber libel – 5 February 2019 (ABS CBN News)

    This article reports that Rappler CEO and reporter Maria Ressa is being charged with cyber libel for an article she published in 2012 entitled, “CJ using SUVs of controversial businessman”. The report was accused of being malicious and defamatory. In a separate article, Ressa clarifies that the 2012 article wasn’t written with malicious intent since they sought the sides of all people involved in the story, including that of William Keng the mentioned ‘controversial businessman’. In addition to this, Ressa also faces charges for tax evasion.

    This is one of a plethora of instances wherein the government has tried to suppress the freedom by banking on technicalities to condemn media outlets that are critical of the administration, as Rappler has been in the past and continues to be. The government attempts to silence any ideas or information that would oppose their interests or expose flaws within it. In doing so, it rejects the supposed free trade of ideas in favor of “news” that would put the administration in its best light while, in turn, keeping the public in the dark with regards to what really is going on.

  3. PDEA restricts Rappler coverage access after story on P6.8-B shabu (August 2018)

    Mr. Derrick Carreon, the spokesman of the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, removed Rappler reporter Rambo Talambong out of the agency’s official coordination channel with the media on August 17.

    Carreon did this after several days of privately messaging Talambong to express his disapproval of how he has been gathering data on the P6.8-B shabu issue.

    Carreon refuses to acknowledge that reporters can have other sources for news reports aside from that of government agencies.

    Rappler has condemned this act stating that PDEA is a public office and funded by people’s taxes and is within the media’s right and duty to have access to.


  4. These student journalists are standing up for a free press
    Written by: Regine Cabato and Janelle Paris
    Published on: August 29, 2018

    The article cited instances when 10 students from Miriam College were subjected to suspension, and expulsion after writing an article putting the school in a bad light. But as stated in the Campus Journalism Act of 1991 that no students shall be expelled or suspended “solely on the basis of articles he or she has written.” Another instance is that the editorial board members of AMA Computer College were expelled due to publishing a lampoon issue.

    The article also discussed how campus publications in the Philippines struggle to fight for a free press amid issues of editorial independence, low funds, and lack of resources. This is a clear manifestation that the campus press in the Philippines is under attack.

    These young journalists who were critical enough to criticize and expose their school administration have the highest potential to fight against the attacks on media in the entire country. If it were not because of these young scribes, the administration will continue to use their power to suppress the rights of their constituents. The same thing will happen in the Philippines if there is no freedom of the press. No one will be able to criticize what the government is doing, and the state will continue to oppress the rights of its people.

  5. NUJP to gov’t: Don’t require media as witness in anti-drug operations – June 10, 2018

    The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, amidst the dangers of the drug war and increasing incidents of drug-related reports and cases, requested from the government that media members not be required to be signed as witnesses to inventory and documentation for such cases under RA 1965, the Comprehensive Drugs Act, to prevent danger and recognition as a party against drug-involved parties.

    Such a case ties in with Justice Holmes’ dissent that truth deserves to be tested against other truths, similar to a marketplace, and that the press must be free to investigate the veracity of truths from a neutral standpoint. To require the media to be possible legal witnesses is to immediately place them on the side of the government, as if immediately affirming the all actions and decisions of the government on such incidents and disrupting the media’s own investigations that may be counter to the authorities’ own takes on such cases.

  6. 19 arrested in NutriAsia protest released (August 01, 2018, ABS-CBN News)

    The free press playing a vital role in the discovery of truth is illustrated in ABS-CBN News’ August 01, 2018 published news stort headlined “19 arrested in NutriAsia protest released”, which can be seen in the latter part of the article where it includes statements about the happenings from a media member present on the scene of the rally. The article previously features the statements from NutriAsia claiming that the workers who are rallying are the ones who initiated violence in the middle of the mediation, but a provincial radio station’s footage of the event proved otherwise; showing one of the security forces present at the picket line hitting the protesters.

    Now, if the provincial radio press did not have the freedom to post the footage on their social media page, the public would have remained ignorant about the real happenings that has went down on the rally. It is truly important for the freedom of the press to be upheld as the press acts as the public’s eye on the events that partakes in the country, or atleast concerns the people. In this way, multiple views of the event coming from the press creates a somewhat whole and unbiased picture for the public about what transpires — more or less capturing what is the essential truth.

  7. Bonus:

    DOJ indicts Rappler Inc., editor, reporter for cyberlibel (February 07, 2019, Philippine Daily Inquirer)

    In an article published February 07,2019 by the Philippine Daily Inquirer titled “DOJ indicts Rappler Inc., editor, reporter for cyberlibel”, the importance of the freedom of speech and the watchdog function of the press towards government officials can be seen. The events going down on the article beara some resemblance to that of US vs. Bustos, it can be said that Rappler’s outing of then Chief Justice Renato Corona’s acceptance of lent cars from a businessman in return of Corona ignoring the businessman’s alleged three crime involvements.

    This situation illustrates the corruption going on between those in positions of power and the elite, undermining laws and rights in exchange for luxury. It shows how important the freedom of the press is for the public, as it prompts the government to act upon these ‘ignored’ crimes, and quickly get the corrupt politician out of power.


    Hundreds of newspapers defend press freedom against President Trump’s attacks

    David Bauder, Associated Press, Aug. 16, 2018

    NEW YORK — Newspapers from Maine to Hawaii pushed back against President Donald Trump’s attacks on “fake news” Thursday with a coordinated series of editorials speaking up for a free and vigorous press.

    The importance of press freedom, or having a free press to discover the truth is illustrated here. Different media outlets have spoken on how press freedom is necessary for democracy and exposing the unwanted truth, particularly tyranny, as indicated in the article. “Like any true friend, we don’t always tell you want you want to hear,” Morning News of Savannah, Georgia said in the article, indicating the truth is not always something that is in the tide of one side’s favor, as the press always sides with the truth and reports it, despite having conflicts of interest in the field.

    In this exercise, it shows that the free press is still threatened on various parts of the world. Many movements are still ongoing to defend press freedom against the forces that might suppress it, like the government. Press freedom is still essential to democracy and it lets the public know everything and what is really happening in the world.

  9. How Duterte’s ‘war on drugs’ endangers journalists

    The police and other law enforcement institutions have forced journalists to sign as witnesses to the inventory of narcotics seized during anti-drug operations, even if they are not required to do so by law.

    The article illustrates how, by forcing journalists to sign as witnesses in drug operations, they are subjected to death threats, or are at risk in being included in drug watch lists. It should be taken into consideration the fact that Republic Act 10640 or the amendment to Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002 was supposed to make it optional for journalists to witness. By adding more danger to the practice of journalism in the country, in which journalists now fear for their lives, press freedom is negatively affected.

    Press freedom is essential in uncovering the truth, as seen in the same article that exposed the further threats of the current administration against the press, which curtails their freedom in practicing their profession and serving their role as watchdogs of the government by adding into the mix an imminent and unnecessary danger to their lives.

  10. [BONUS]

    Drop ‘politically motivated’ criminal charges vs Rappler, Maria Ressa

    MANILA, Philipppines – Human Rights Watch (HRW) on Saturday, December 1, called on the Duterte administration to drop the “politically motivated” charges against Rappler Holdings Corporation and its president Maria Ressa.

    The report is associated with the press as the watchdogs of the state to expose government’s wrongful activities, and the importance of freedom of speech. The fight between Pres. Duterte and news website Rappler burst when they reported critically against the government, particularly in the war on drugs. Rappler’s critical reports led to the President’s callout to them as a fake news website and its license invocation at Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), and this event intensifies the calls for press freedom and the freedom of the speech. In this article, the battle between the news website and the government still continues as Department of Justice and Pasig Regional Trial Court filed cases against Rappler and its president Maria Ressa.

    Being critical to the government and report its atrocities has a big impact on the press, as the government can do anything to silence such reports and do as much repression as they can. Being the watchdogs of the state and upholding the freedom of speech, media must speak to the truth and be critical to anyone who does something who that can affect the public in a bad manner.


    In this article, the writer shows how democracy is threatened when the press is also threatened. The media, as the fourth estate, is crucial in maintaining a working a democracy.

    The threats and actual harassment against the media seriously cripples the quest for truth as it prevents the press from accessing information about operations the government either by the refusal of the government authorities themselves or by the fear of the members of the press from being persecuted.

    In this news report, the persecution has evolved into a prosecution. Rappler’s registration was questioned before the Securities and Exchange Commission. If this ruling if the SEC is affirmed by the courts, it will have a serious impact on the media. It will not only close down a major news outlet but it will also influence the reporting of other news organizations.

  12. [Bonus]

    One of the most striking statements in US v Bustos says:

    “The interest of society and the maintenance of good government demand a full discussion of public affairs. Completely liberty to comment on the conduct of public men is a scalpel in the case of free speech. The sharp incision of its probe relieves the abscesses of officialdom. Men in public life may suffer under a hostile and an unjust accusation; the wound can be assuaged with the balm of a clear conscience. A public officer must not be too thin-skinned with reference to comment upon his official acts. Only thus can the intelligence and the dignity of the individual be exalted. Of course, criticism does not authorize defamation. Nevertheless, as the individual is less than the State, so must expected criticism be born for the common good. Rising superior to any official or set of officials, to the Chief of Executive, to the Legislature, to the Judiciary — to any or all the agencies of Government — public opinion should be the constant source of liberty and democracy.”

    In this article, President Duterte blasted his critics for being difficult to satisfy. But just like what the Court said in the case of US v. Bustos, “a public officer must not be too thin skinned with reference to comment upon his official acts.” This is because it is the role of the media, and the people in general to look into his actions and expose those that deserve to be exposed. This is crucial in the maintenance of our democracy and making checks and balances work.

  13. Bonus:

    Rappler CEO vows to report on Duterte drug war amid arrest threat – December 4, 2018

    Maria Ressa, Rappler CEO, amidst tax evasion cases seemingly targeted solely on the government-critical Rappler, stated the Duterte administration’s cases against her media company as an attack on their freedom as media practitioners to criticize the injustices of the government committed throughout the drug war, and promises to continue investigating and reporting on the questionable policies of the administration.

    The US vs Bustos case places down the principle that the media should be allowed to criticize judicial conduct, lest public opinion be fully suppressed. The article above is an example of how the government demonstrates this abuse of power to attempt to silence the media to maintain its own reputation when its reliability and justice should be question. Rappler is within its bounds to report on and publish opinions on their takes on all actions by the government, and doesn’t the government’s suppression via tax evasion cases.

  14. Rappler’s Ressa confirms arrest warrant had been issued against her — December 2, 2018


    Online news website GMA reports on the personal confirmation that CEO and Executive Editor of Rappler Maria Ressa was arrested by the government based on tax charges. Ressa was prepared to post bail, alongside her lawyer Francis Lim.

    The article supports the position of Justice Holmes, in his Dissent in Abrams vs US, on the necessary place of free press in a country. The article collected at least 7000 social media shares (on mostly Facebook), Illustrating public interest in the work of the free press. There appears to be a healthy variation of opinions on the topic. Not all of the public accepted the government’s decision. Comments bring up a possibly unstated motive for her arrest: a silencing of Ressa’s criticism of the current administration. These comments were alongside some agreement on the arrest of Ressa. I echo Justice Holmes in his comment that the government should not feel threatened of criticism if they are confident that they are in the right.


    Rappler’s Ressa says ‘law has been weaponized’ after DoJ recommends cyber-libel case
    Written by: Vann Marlo M. Villegas
    Published on: February 6, 2019


    After being awarded by TIME Magazine as “Person of the Year” for her journalistic work, Rappler CEO Maria Angelita Ressa is now faced with possibly being charged with cyber-libel for an article written in 2012 on former Chief Justice Renato Corona’s connection with businessman, Wilfredo D. Keng.

    This can be seen as another attack on one of the prominent critics of the Duterte administration, especially since the article was published before the implementation of the Cybercrime Law. One could also see this as an effort by the government to continue siliencing Ressa due to the fact that other respondents included in the filed complaint were dismissed.

    As Chairman of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) Nonoy Espina said, this proposition by the Department of Justice (DoJ) is alarming since media practitioners can be made liable for anything they published before the Cybercrime Law. Ressa also pointed out how even though NBI’s lawyers recommended the dismissal of the case, DoJ is trying to weaponize the law to oppress anyone who opposes the State, therefore endangering press freedom in the country itself.

  16. Rappler: Jiggy Manicad: Duterte’s attacks vs media just his ‘style’ (Feb. 5, 2019)

    In a Rappler interview, journalist and senatorial candidate senatorial candidate Jiggy Manicad said that it was simply just President Rodrigo Duterte’s style to publicly threaten media outlets with verbal attacks when they are not in aggreement with him.

    This case of Duterte’s attacking being dismissed is similar to Justice Holmes’s dissent in 1919, where he voiced out that Russian immigrants were not voicing out explicit threats to the war effort, but rather attempts to reform the government’s shortcomings, which the government vehemently dismissed.

    Discourse is the most direct cause towards progress in democratic countries where it is possible, and understanding different perspectives to issues gives people judgement towards how to attain this, therefore stressing its importance. When a government dismisses a counter-narrative against them, it ultimately stunts this dynamic.

  17. She reported from War Zones but covering Philippine President Duterte might be her most dangerous job yet – December 2018

    Marian Ressa of Rappler is a veteran journalist, a former CNN bureau chief and is planning to post bail for charges of tax evasion. She is also expected to be arraigned February next year. International observers regard the charges against Ressa and Rappler as the government’s political motivation to muzzle critical press and silence criticism of his administration’s deadly war on drugs. Rappler and its founder are now facing what other critics and opposition leaders have experienced before under unsubstantial premises. According to the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), this move is a ‘a direct assault on press freedom in the Philippines.’

    This relates to the second count of the violation of the five Russian immigrants in the case of Dissent, Justice Holmes: Abrams vs. United States. It states that ‘…charges a conspiracy pending war to publish language intended to bring the form of government into contempt.’ It cannot be denied how the government has a tendency to silence critics and opposition by using the law, one way or another. It is essential for a society to have a government with critics and most especially, a press that reports anomalies committed by politicians for it creates a progressive society. News is created in order for citizens to be self-governing and aware of issues that can push them to act depending on the situation. This case is critical because when analyzed properly, it can be revelead whether or not the Philippine government is still using law to protect the people.

  18. News article: Reuters reporters jailed for 7 years in Myanmar secrets case

    Retrieved from:

    In one if the most heinous violations of not only freedom of speech but also human rights, Myanmar courts find two Reuters reporters guilty of violating the Official Secrets Act. Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo had merely investigated and reported the massacre of the Muslim Rohingyas, an ethnic minority group in Myanmar. The press has always upholded the mandate of reporting the truth, no matter how unpleasant it may be. In addition, the press has also upholded the mandate of keeping governments and those in power accountable to their actions. The two reporters were only doing their due diligence in informing the international community of the events and circumstances regarding the genocide on the Myanmar Rohingya persecution, and apparently, for Myanmar, this has threatened their national security.

    As said in Justice Holmes’ dissent in Abrams v US, the courts should not be entitled to persecute individuals who have expressed an opinion that threatens national securty. Justice Holmes, who authored the decision regarding the clear and present danger standard in the curtailing of free press in Schenck v US, has also said why the courts must be more rigorous in identifying an intent to cause harm with the expression of the opinion in question. In this case, the Reuters reporters were merely stating the facts as they have come to find out with their investigation, and their version of events were even corroborated by a policeman. The prosecution was not able to establish that their intent was to expose the Myanmar government to harm by reporting these atrocious human rights violations, but the judge disregarded this and went on to silence the men exposing the extrajudicial killings and genocide happening in the land. This decision obviously sparked outrage in the international community — as it is a blatant attempt to punish those who threaten to expose the government’s racist actions.

    This is one of the main reasons why the freedom of the press and the freedom of speech remain as important pillars of society. Journalists are crucial in keeping the powerful government in check, and let the people know should they put a toe out if line. The watchdog press keeps those in power accountable to their constituents, and let the general population know what the people they elected to lead them are actually doing with the power they are given.

  19. People’s Tribunals: Rappler Explains Why They Matter
    September 27, 2018


    Many have indicted the current president Rodrigo Duterte for his war against crime which proved dangerously unsuccessful. This includes Belgium based International People’s Tribunal. They handed down a verdict of “gross and systematic violations of human rights.” 

    This put the credibility of the people’s tribunal into discussion. Even though not legally binding, Rappler quoted the statement of Edre Olalia, president of the National Union of People’s Lawyers: “Its biggest value is its strong moral persuasion and political push that would complement the overall efforts from all sources in the ultimate search for justice.”


With the president and his supporters hot on Rappler’s trail these days, it just highlights how the freedom of the press shows its importance by being the voice of the people and the oppressed.

  20. Barangays in Baguio ban gossiping, drying undies


    According to the article, A village in Baguio has proposed to impose a ban on “idle gossip” or “tsismis.” Officials of The Upper Quary then forwarded it to the Baguio City Council, which responded by turning the proposal back to the Barangay for refinement and review.

    Malacanang released a statement saying that such ban would possible curtail the right to freedom of speech.

    To control freedom of speech such as this would have to merit a clear and present danger to the government. As mentioned in Abram vs. US, if the speech would indicate a greater danger to the public, only then must it be regulated.

    On a Barangay level, this is directed at a small scale audience which does not include the whole or general public of the Philippines.

  21. Rappler’s Ressa says ‘law has been weaponized’ after DoJ recommends cyber-libel case

    In Justice Holmes’ dissent, he said that it is important to have “free trade in ideas” in order to learn more about the truth. To have a free press is important so that journalists can investigate a certain idea, person, or event, and have an avenue to publish their findings for the public to be able to read and be aware of.

    Rappler released an article in 2012 linking the then-Chief Justice Corona to a “controversial businessman,” Wilfredo Keng, alleging that Corona was using a car registered to Keng. After Keng’s failure to convince Rappler to unpublish the article, he filed a case at the National Bureau of Investigation in 2017. At present, the Department of Justice (DOJ) “recommended the filing” of the case against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos, Jr., the author of the mentioned article, because they deemed the article to be defamatory to Keng.

    The BusinessWorld article states that “Under Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code, every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown,”

    This news report illustrates the importance of having a free press because the article that Rappler published was simply a news report about Corona and Keng, with the intention of releasing this information to the public. The author also used various sources in order to piece together this story. However, despite all this, seven years later, the DOJ still recommended the cyber-libel case against Ressa and Santos. This can be seen as an attack on press freedom and an attempt to silence journalists from doing their job- reporting on issues and eventually getting to the truth- because such an action can intimidate others from doing the same.

    Furthermore, the DOJ used the explanation that authors of articles that are deemed defamatory, even if true, can still be slapped with a case against them, which can be seen as another attack on press freedom because even truthful information can be used against journalists. Thus, it is evident that having a free press is necessary, especially in the Philippines, so that journalists can do their jobs correctly without fear of persecution. The truth can be reported on and anomalies in the government can be exposed if there are no unnecessary threats to media workers who are only doing the right thing.

  22. [BONUS]

    Support for press freedom in Ghana drops – Report

    Majority of citizens said the government should have the right to prevent the media from publishing things that it considers harmful to society.

    Before, Ghana was considered a press-friendly country, rising steadily on the World Press Freedom Index from 67th in 2002 to 23rd in 2018, from 19th among African countries to number 1. This was achieved in the aid of constitutional provisions, such as laws against censorship, government interference, and harassment.

    Yet, a survey showed that a majority of the citizens believed that the government should interfere in media matters.

    However, it should still hold true that government interference harms freedom of expression and freedom of the press. Allowing the government to filter out news that it deems to be harmful to the society can result in the abuse of power by means of censoring those which expose corruption and abuse in the government. This, ultimately, diminishes the watchdog role of the press, as it hinders them from reporting the truth.

  23. [BONUS]
    She exposed Duterte’s drug war in the Philippines. Now she faces a possible prison term.
    Written by: James Griffiths
    Published on: December 3, 2018

    Rappler is an online news media outlet that has been known in exposing President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs. Multiple counts of tax evasion cases were filed against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and the company. In fact, the Security and Exchange Commission ordered the shutdown of Rappler last year.

    Rappler has been critical in reporting the abusive war on drugs of President Duterte. There are at least 5,000 unsolved extrajudicial killings under his term according to a report from CNN. Images and stories published by Rappler had exposed Duterte’s drug war in a global sense. If it weren’t because of Rappler, the news on Duterte’s drug war will remain only in the Philippines, and people in other countries will remain ignorant of what is really happening here.

    The act of filing a case against Maria Ressa is a clear manifestation of how Duterte is so focused on attacking the media in the country. Duterte doesn’t recognize the watchdog function of the press as it’s clearly not in favor of him due to the fact he has so many suspicious acts of abuse and corruption that may be the cause of his downfall.

  24. [BONUS]

    US arrests journalist working for Iran’s state Press TV — January 16, 2019


    The article states that a journalist working for Iran’s Press TV was arrested for unspecified charges as she landed in a US airport. It brings up that Iran and the United States have had heightened tensions as of late. Marzieh Hashemi, 59, was not able to contact her family for at least two days.

    Hashemi’s undue arrest echoes US vs Bustos in a government’s disrespect for the freedom of media. This is a continued problem for the media all over the world. Powerful governments manage to get away with their abuse of power. This is another story of how difficult it is to be an honest journalist. We should continue to fight for the protection of journalists.

  25. Bonus:

    FALSE: Imee Marcos ‘graduated cum laude from UP College of Law’ – 6 February 2019 (Rappler)

    In this fact-check article brings to light the false credentials used by senatorial candidate, Imee Marcos to bolster her curriculum vitae during her time at the House of Representatives.

    It is important that the press release such information so that voters may be well-informed in light of the forthcoming elections this May. By showing the dishonesty displayed by a senatorial candidate, the press serves as a watchdog of the government, working to inform the public so that they may make the best decisions come voting season. Information such as this allows voters to screen whether or not a candidate for a seat in the government is worthy and has integrity, and thereby deserves their vote.

  26. [BONUS]

    Trillanes in Davao to face Paolo Duterte’s libel case
    Written by: Kristine Joy Patag
    Published on: January 15, 2019

    Senator Antonio Trillanes is currently facing a libel can brought to him by former Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, for charges of defamation.

    Trillanes’s feud with the Dutertes by being one of their most outspoken critics is hindered by this defamation and libel case, after the former accused Duterte of smuggling P6.4B worth of shabu from China.

    This charge not only is controversial because it hampers investigation of Duterte’s alleged involvement with the drug trade, but is also an attempt to weaken the influence of Trillanes’s criticisms, possibly being a stunt for influence and personal gain. This is freedom of speech not only suppressed in itself, but suppressed in favor of political motives, which makes the discussion of this issue problematic. Therefore, the government has the burden to make sure corruption is effectively exposed through criticism and not hindered.

  27. Bonus:

    Police Ask Media for “Favorable Coverage”
    October 10, 2018


    The press should be free and should be neutral. In the article, the Bacolod City Police Office (BCPO) and the Negros Occidental Police Provincial Office (NOCPPO) asked for “favorable coverage” of the drug campaign, headed by the Philippine National Police (PNP). There also had been a “partnership” between the police and the media obtained by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), according to a Rappler report.

    It has always been the duty of the press to report the truth to the public. To quote the NUJP national directorate’s statement, “it is one thing to cover the PNP’s accomplishments– and the media have never been remiss about giving credit where it is due. It is a totally different matter, though, to seek to recruit the media in a campaign meant to spruce up the service’s image.”

  28. Filipino women journalists: attacked but unbowed
    by Ronalyn V. Olea
    posted on October 2, 2018

    The article highlights various stories of attacks on Filipino women journalists under the Duterte administration.

    Julie Alipala, a veteran journalist who wrote a story for the Philippine Daily Inquirer titled “7 young Tausug men killed by military not Abu Sayyaf bandits – relative,” was branded a terrorist in a Facebook page believed to be managed by Duterte supporters two days later. The Facebook page “Huwag Tularan” attached Alipala’s headline and her photo along with the words, “Magkano kaya ang binayad kay Julie Alipala? Pati teroristang Abu Sayyaf pinagtatanggol niya! Certified bayarang kulumnista.”

    Al Jazeera correspondent Jamela Alindogan-Caudron and freelance reporter Gretchen Malalad are also victims of gender-based online attacks, finding themselves called as “traitor,” “bayaran” and “presstitute.” Pia Ranada of Rappler and Jam Sisante of GMA 7 also became targets of online harassment.

    There also have been physical attacks against women journalists. In April 2018, a young woman journalist was barred from covering a protest of refugees in Marawi by a military officer.

    On July 31, five journalists, including two women, were arrested while covering the violent dispersal of workers’ strike in Bulacan. Another woman journalist, Rosemarie Alcaraz, was also hurt.

    The conclusion of the article emphasized the Filipino women journalists and the Philippine press in general still striving to perform their duty as journalists– to report the truth. “After all, responsible journalism entails the defense of truth, democracy and accountability,” the article said.

    With the proliferation of mis- and disinformation and violence both online and offline for the forwarding of specific political interests, it is only a free, responsible, just, and truthful media that stands a chance in terms of shaping the reality of people once again. It is only in knowing the truth that the people could act on what they deem right.

    (Note: The article is written in time for the International Association of Women in Radio and Television’s 9th Regional Conference being held in Uganda. The author is the treasure of IAWRT-Philippines chapter and former director of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.)

  29. News article – Better or worse? The state of Philippine media according to watchdogs


    The Philippine media has increasingly been threatened since Duterte took office in 2016. In 2018, journalists and media practitioners continue to be harassed not only physically, but even in online spaces. Also in the last year, there have been 4 cases of media killings, making it a total of 12 media practioners killed during the Duterte administration.

    Attacks on Philippine press freedom spans from taking down articles that are critiquing influential people to barring them fron covering an event to arrest and even killings. While these numbers are not significantly diffeent fron the numbers of press freedom violations during the preceding administrations, we can argue that the threats have become much worse. It doesn’t help that the president himself keeps on making derogatory comments against some of the media institutions against him (ex Philippine Daily Inquirer, Rappler etc), he is also using the public regard for him to turn the people against these institutions, whether knowingly or unknowingly. The propagation of fake news also brings about more chaos and confusion, thereby lessening the mediaks credibility.

    While these attacks continue, it is important to maintain freedom of the press. The press does not only inform us of the truth, but also keeps these powerful institutions accountable

  30. Turkey has more evidence in Khashoggi murder – report – November 16 2018

    A Turkish newspaper reveals that Turkey has more evidence regarding the murder of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi. A 15 minute voice recording reveals that the murder has been premeditated and contradicts the Saudi version of the murder. In Saudi, it is said that 5 Saudi officials will face death penalty but not the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who had been exonerated of involvement in the murder.

    This article shows why a free press is necessary in discovering the truth— because of the release of this new information, investigations are still ongoing to bring justice to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince. This is only one of many instances of media killings happening around the globe.

  31. BONUS:

    LIST: Political clans, powerful figures among 2019 party-list nominees

    On February 6, Rappler releases a list of party-list nominees for the 2019 elections who are linked to a political clan or a powerful figure. Publishing a list like this truly manifests the free press’ watchdog function in exposing possible corrupt and abusive government officials. Making a background check on these nominees are very beneficial to the people because it serves as helpful information to voters in making wise decisions in voting in the coming elections.


    FALSE: Only ‘1 or 2’ PH media killings work-related
    Written by: Pia Ranada
    Published on: December 21, 2018


    As reported by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), 9 Filipino journalists were killed in the course of their work since Duterte took up the presidency when they were writing stories that could have exposed any of the powerful people for their questionable practices. This effectively disproves the notion that only corrupt journalists are killed, something the President himself has said blatantly in a speech on May 2016.

    In the current political climate of the country, journalists’ duty as the 4th Estate, the watchdogs of the government, is constantly at risk due to attacks against their safety and well-being just for investigating and speaking up on issues that incriminate influential figures in society.

    If their lives are endangered, freedom of speech in the country is also put in a vulnerable state.

  33. Trump vs CNN: Lawsuit becomes test case on Press Freedom – November 2018


    An argument was made about who gets to control the media coverage of Trump’s presidency. A dramatic courtroom battle was prompted by the contentious decision of the White House to revoke media access to CNN’s chief White house correspondent, Jim Acosta, following a confrontation at a press conference between the reporter and Trump. In response, CNN is suing the president and members of his senior team, including the White House press secretary, Sarah Sanders, and head of communications, Bill Shine, in an attempt to get Acosta’s credentials immediately reinstated and to permanently protect journalists against such treatment in future.

    In lined with this is the US vs Bustos case wherein the government’s antagonism against media is apparent. All media forms should have access to freedom of speech. It is their job to present non-biased and accurate news/information to everyone for they serve as watchdogs against the government. One of their vital duties is exposing corrupt politicians. No journalist should be singled out and denied any right that media practitioners should be given.

  34. (Bonus)

    Opposition senators to fight ‘illegal, abusive’ Duterte order vs Trillanes

    In the US vs Bustos case, it was mentioned that “the guaranties of a free speech and a free press include the right to criticize judicial conduct.” In 2018, President Duterte signed Proclamation 527, revoking the amnesty that was granted to Senator Antonio Trillanes IV for his participation in two mutinies in the early 2000s. This, and the subsequent order of arrest for Trillanes was the source of much criticism from other senators, which was what the Rappler article was about. In the article, different senators were able to voice out their objection to Duterte’s order. For example, Senator Risa Hontiveros was quoted in the article as having said that the revocation “signals the growing crackdown on the political opposition and the President’s further slide into full authoritarian rule.” Senator Francis Pangilinan said that it was “a clear persecution against one of the administration’s toughest critics.” With the absence of freedom of speech, such would not have been said or reported, because the government would have silenced any other opinion on the matter.

    The importance of freedom of speech and the watchdog function of the press is evident in this article because due to the existence of such freedom, the news outlet was able to report on dissenting opinions regarding an action of the President. Judicial conduct was criticized by various personalities and reported on by media. This served as a way to expose the abusive action of the President in revoking the amnesty, to bring the issue to national consciousness.

  35. BONUS

    DOJ finds probable cause to charge Rappler, Maria Ressa for tax evasion
    by Xave Gregorio
    posted on November 9, 2018, CNN Philippines


    The Department of Justice has found probable cause to charge Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) and its chief executive officer Maria Ressa with tax evasion. The BIR said RHC earned close to ₱162.5 million which it supposedly failed to declare in its tax return.

    As the article stated, Rappler is among the media companies which has drawn the ire of President Duterte. It claims it has not shielded away from critical reporting about the administration and being the watchdog it should be, thus, the attacks of the administration on it and its functioning.

    “This is clear intimidation and harassment. The government is wasting its energy and resources in an attempt to silence reporting that does not please the administration,” Ressa said in a Rappler report, quoted in the article.

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