BACOLOD CITY –– Journalists and other sectors in this city gathered at the Bacolod Public Plaza on Friday afternoon to oppose moves to shut down media giant ABS-CBN.
Marchel Espina, president of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)-Bacolod Chapter, appealed to the government to stop the coordinated attacks against the media.
“Since the start of the administration of Mr. Rodrigo Duterte in 2016, the media have been the constant subject of his vindictiveness. This has created a chilling effect on the media. We don’t want journalists to constantly look behind their backs because of their reportage,” she said.
“An attack on the media is an attack on democracy. Let the media do its job freely, which is to protect the people’s right to know,” Espina said.
Present during the rally were members of the NUJP and the Negros Press Club.
Espina said the government has fiercely accused the media, especially ABS-CBN, Rappler, and Philippine Daily Inquirer, of spreading “fake news.”
She said public trust in the media has declined, and journalists who report critical stories about the administration have been Red-tagged and called “bayaran (paid hacks).”
“He (President Duterte) publicly declared media as peddlers of disinformation and lies. But in fact, it was his administration and their trolls who harnessed and weaponized the use of social media –– turning the public against the mainstream media, she said./lzb
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