By NATIONAL UNION OF JOURNALISTS OF THE PHILIPPINES – BAGUIO BENGUET
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet chapter joins other media organizations, writers, artists and freedom loving Filipinos all over the country in staging the first Black Friday Protest in defense of press freedom, freedom of expression and all other human rights that are now being attacked and threatened by government that is supposed to uphold and protect these.
We stand with Rappler; the 54 radio stations under the Catholic Church’s franchise and the 30 more in Davao that were recommended for closure by the National Telecommunications Commission; and all other threatened media organizations.
But more than the threatened closure of news sites, radio stations and media outlets there are greater threats to our freedoms and liberties as a people, the rights that the Filipino people have fought for even during the darkest years of martial law.
The present passage in the House of Representatives of a charter change through a constitutional assembly (Con Ass) and recent prounouncements that the Con Ass will proceed even without the approval of the Senate shows this regime’s thrust towards establishing an authoritarian rule.
This is also evident in the proposed amendments the House of Representatives wish to force on the Constitution.
The proposed amendments to Article III, Section 4: “No law shall be passed abridging the ‘RESPONSIBLE EXERCISE’ of freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances” is enough proof.
Lest we forget, the 1987 Constitution was forged by the Filipino people’s collective efforts to ensure that the government will uphold their rights and liberties. But this regime is forcing its way to mangle the Constitution, the basic law of the land where our freedoms and liberties are enshrined, and turn it into an instrument to curtail the freedoms we have painstakingly fought for.
The Filipino people resisted and ousted a dictator who has used similar measures like silencing the press and changing the constitution.
History shows that a people united can defeat a tyrant.
And so we stand with all freedom loving Filipinos as we enjoin everyone to do so and resist this new attempt at tyranny. # nordis.net