Wednesday, 29 June 2022
Multi-awarded independent media organization RAPPLER has been a prime target of the Duterte regime’s vilification and judicial harassment while it struggles to combat massive attacks and disinformation online. The government’s reprisal against independent press is at its worst with the shutdown of ABS CBN network, blocking of the websites of Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly, and persecution of journalists, especially those reporting on widespread and systematic human rights violations, social injustice, and amplifying the people’s demands for accountability.
Today the SEC affirmed its cancellation of the certificates of incorporation of Rappler, effectively ordering its shut down. This is Duterte’s parting gift to the incoming Marcos regime in exchange for protection from prosecution when he loses his immunity. Meanwhile the absence of a free press and the dominance of a pro-government propaganda machinery should also sit well for the crony-oligarchs, plunderers-in-waiting and corrupt officials whose criminal deeds would remain hidden from public scrutiny and devoid of censure, akin to the old days of the Marcos dictatorship.
Rappler vowed to fight the closure order, with its CEO and Nobel Prize laureate Maria Ressa saying they will continue to hold the line, and remain steadfast to their job of speaking truth to power. iDEFEND stands with RAPPLER as it continues to hold the line in resisting authoritarian rule and in defending our right to freedom of information, expression and freedom of the press which are essential for a healthy and thriving democracy. We will continue to shine the light and demand accountability for injustice, repression and lies. Courage ON.
Screen capture: International Center for Journalists