Ronalyn V. Olea is the managing editor of Bulatlat, Philippines’ top alternative online news site. Bulatlat covers politics, human rights, indigenous people and Filipino culture from a critical angle towards the regime of President Rodrigo Duterte. That position has labeled them “enemy of the state” by the Army. In collaboration with other targeted organizations, and supported by the forensic investigation of Qurium, Bulatlat filed a lawsuit against Suniway, the Philippine company who’s infrastructure enabled the cyber attacks.
Most reports provided the basic information about the clashes, enough to inform the readers of what transpired. However, straight news that dwells only on the firefight and the casualties tends to create further division among the people. It leaves a data gap on the circumstances that caused the events and the reasons why the war in the countryside continue to rage.
Members of alternative media, digital rights activists, and artists picketed the National Computer Emergency Response Team (NCERT) of the Department of Information and Communication Technology (DICT) office to protest the negligence of the office to respond the cyber-attacks against groups critical to the Duterte administration.
The National Union of Journalist of the Philippines denounced the relentless cyber-attacks to disable online alternative news outfits Bulatlat and Kodao, saying it is “meant to stifle criticism and dissent.”
Cyber-attack against Bulatlat, an alternative online news site has been relentless but like House Martell in the HBO Original Series “Game of Thrones”, the site and its editorial staff remain “unbent, unbowed and unbroken”. With the organization’s resolve and help of a Sweden based group of digital forensic investigation expert, the attackers did not succeed to bring the site down.
Journalists in the City of Pines honored Kathleen T. Okubo, the editor-in-chief of Northern Dispatch (Nordis) Weekly, as one of the 12 Most Outstanding Senior Citizens of Baguio City and the Province of Benguet in the field of journalism.
In closing the year, Northern Dispatch provided stories on organized forces, events and policies that shaped the economic and political landscape of Northern Luzon, from the standpoint of the marginalized and oppressed.
As the world turns on to a new year, it is with deep regrets that the publishers, Northern Media Information Network Board of Trustees announce this issue to be the last copy of the Northern Dispatch Weekly on newsprint, as it moves to focus on better serving you and all readers on its website with daily issuances of news coverages and weekly features of stories from the field on its website, https//www.nordis.net.
It is high time that the media community come together and stand united to defend the right of the public to know, to information that especially may protect them from this economic crisis, and thieves misrepresenting themselves as government leaders. Defend your right to know and the freedom of speech, the freedom of assembly.
For the members of the NDW staff and I, it has been a most trying 16 years to serve our chosen mandate and I know we have won battles as well as stumbled and hit our heads on many obstacles in newspapering. But the reality of the economic crisis brought on all of us by this oppressive system now led by a terrormonger has eventually caught up with us too. Yet presently, at the back of my mind, I am still holding up a placcard in protest and in support for the printed copy at least for the counties without Wi-fi.
Progressive groups slammed the latest pronouncement of the president on crushing the communist movement in the country calling it draconian, lawless and affront to human rights.
Tignayan Productions, a local alternative media outfit in Ilocos launched a film inspired by true events that led to the upsurge of the revolutionary movement in the region early evening on December 10, as part of this year’s International Human Rights Day commemoration.