Thu, 09 Dec 2021

Illustration by Joseph Luigi Almuena/PCIJ

WE JOIN our fellow Filipinos in celebrating the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize given to journalists Maria Ressa and Dmitri Muratov.

We applaud the Nobel Committee's recognition of the courage not just of these two journalists but of so many others who speak truth to power "in a world in which democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions."

As Filipino journalists, we are concerned about the fragile state of press freedom in our country, especially as the 2022 elections draw near. The climate for independent reporting is fraught. Lawsuits have been filed in an attempt to silence our colleagues. ABS-CBN, the country's largest broadcast network, has been shut down. Frontline journalists, many of them just in their 20s and 30s, bear the brunt. They are moving targets for death threats, insults and unrelenting trolling.

The pandemic has made access to information and to officials particularly challenging. Financially, news organizations are hurting. Politically, their legitimacy is under attack. But so many soldier on, bringing fact-based news and opinion in the belief that truth-telling matters, even in the era of lies and disinformation.

Press freedom in the Philippines is resilient and enduring. This resilience was forged over time, from the struggle against colonial rule, the tyranny of authoritarianism and the challenges of democracy. Filipinos have defended press freedom because they know it is their right and that their hard-won democracy cannot thrive without it.

The coming elections will be a battle between truth and lies. As journalists, we promise to remain true to the standards of fact-based and ethical newsgathering. But we are outnumbered by professional public relations staffs and troll factories. We alone cannot fight the deluge of disinformation in an election where the future of our democracy is at stake.

We, therefore, call on all those running for public office to make clear their stance on press freedom and to be transparent about their public relations efforts. We ask political campaigns to respect the rights of journalists to report freely, without fear or favor. Before his death, Jose Luis Gascon, the late chair of the Human Rights Commission, proposed a Media Safety Unit. We endorse this proposal and hope that the new chair of the commission will be true to its mandate to safeguard our human rights.

We call on social media companies to make their platforms safe for journalists.

Finally, we ask the public to support a free press and journalists who expose lies and stand up for truth.

SIGNED:

ORGANIZATIONS

  • AGE Communications
  • Aklan Press Club, Inc.
  • Altermidya - People's Alternative Media Network
  • Aninaw Productions
  • Asian Center for Journalism
  • Bicol Express News
  • Bulatlat
  • Calbayog Journal
  • College Editors Guild of the Philippines
  • Daily Tribune
  • Dampig Katarungan
  • Davao Today
  • Freedom for Media, Freedom for All Network
    • Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
    • MindaNews
    • National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
    • Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
    • Philippine Press Institute
  • Impact Publishing
  • Kodao Productions
  • Manila Today
  • Mindanao News Express
  • National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-NCR
  • Northern Dispatch
  • Paghimutad
  • Panay Today
  • Panaysayon
  • Photojournalists' Center of the Philippines
  • Pinoy Media Center
  • Pinoy Weekly
  • Pokus Gitnang Luson Multimedia Network
  • PositivelyFilipino.com
  • Radyo Asenso 106.7 Farm FM
  • Rappler
  • REGINA - University of the Assumption
  • Samar Daily News Online
  • SamarNews.com
  • The News Room Philippines
  • Tudla Productions
  • UPLB Perspective
  • VERA Files
  • Women Writers in Media Now

INDIVIDUALS

  • Al Alegre, Consortium on Democracy & Disinformation
  • Alfredo Ruzol, ABS-CBN News Digital
  • Amalia B. Cabusao, Mindanao Times
  • Angel Ayala, Bicol Express News
  • Angel Tesorero, Gulf News (UAE)
  • Ann Lourdes C. Lopez, Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication
  • Annie Perez-Gallardo, UP Cebu
  • Ara Eugenio, Reportr (Summit Media)
  • Arlene Pingol Mariposque, GMA 7 Dubai UAE
  • Ariel Sebellino, Philippine Press Institute
  • Ashley Martelino
  • Aubrey Delos Reyes, GMA Network, Inc
  • Balbino "Ka Bino" Guerrero Jr
  • Bart Guingona
  • Beatrice Puente, News5 Digital
  • Ben Balce, Mindanao Gold Star Daily
  • Bernard Testa
  • Bert Basa, Philippine Daily Inquirer (former correspondent)
  • Bess Angelina Zamora, Philippine Press Institute
  • Bhal Cabrera
  • Caesar "Bong" Z. Lacson, Punto! Central Luzon
  • Carolyn Arguillas, MindaNews
  • Carmela Fonbuena, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Catalina Ricci Madarang
  • Cherry Mae Salazar, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Chi Liquicia, VERA Files
  • Chit Roces-Santos
  • Chris Pagulayan, Photojournalist Center of the Philippines; PRESS Photographers of the Philippines; PLAY Outdoors Media
  • Christa I. De La Cruz, SPOT.ph
  • Christian Deiparine, Philstar.com
  • Cora Lucas, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Dana Batnag
  • Danilo Arana Arao; Bulatlat, Kodao and Pinoy Weekly
  • Dante Dapitan
  • Daphne Rashid-Tadeo, REGINA-University of the Assumption
  • Denison Rey Dalupang, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • DJ Yap, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Doming Sacote
  • Ed Lingao
  • Edwin P. Galvez, BusinessMirror
  • Elena Pelari
  • Elmer Valenzuela, PonD News Asia
  • Ezra Acayan
  • Felipe F. Salvosa II
  • Felix D. Cuntapay Jr., Balitang Hilaga news correspondent
  • Felix Espineda, Jr., Bicol Express News
  • Floreen Simon, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Francis Allan L. Angelo, Daily Guardian
  • Franco Luna, Philstar.com
  • Frank Cimatu, Baguio Chronicle and Cordillera News Agency
  • Gab Humilde Villegas, Daily Tribune
  • Gaea Katreena Cabico, Philstar.com
  • Gang Badoy Capati
  • Gemma Nemenzo, PositivelyFilipino.com
  • Glenn Ray Roluna
  • Hector Lawas
  • Ian Cigaral, Philstar.com
  • Inday Espina-Varona
  • Isabella Perez-Rubio, Philstar.com
  • Jane Uymatiao (blogger)
  • Jeline Malasig
  • Jervis Manahan, ABS-CBN News
  • Jester Delos Santos
  • Jimmy Domingo, Journalism Studies Assocation of the Philippines
  • Jo-ann Maglipon
  • Joanna Aglibot, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Joel S. Mataro
  • Joey Natividad, Bicol Express News
  • John Bello, Opinyon Quezon
  • John Nery, Rappler
  • John Ray Luciano
  • John Reczon E. Calay
  • Jonathan de Santos, NUJP and Philstar.com
  • Jonnel Pelari
  • Jose Ma. D. Nolasco, Philippine Daily Inquirer (retired executive director)
  • Joseph Edward Dela Cruz, REGINA-University of the Assumption
  • Josephine M. Mendoza
  • Julie S. Alipala, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Kara Magsanoc Alikpala
  • Katrina Hallare, OneNews.PH
  • Katrina Ventura
  • Kenneth Roland Guda, Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  • Kristofer Purnell, Philstar.com
  • Leilani Chavez
  • Lita Jane Cadalig, Baguio Midland Courier
  • Lourdes Escaros
  • Luis Liwanag
  • Luis V. Teodoro
  • Ma. Ceres P. Doyo. Women Writers in Media Now
  • Ma. Diosa Labiste
  • Marchel Espina, Digicast Negros
  • Maria Karina A. Bolasco
  • Maria Lolita S. Lachica, Independent Documentary Producer
  • Marian Pastor Roces
  • Marites D. Vitug, Rappler
  • Mark Ernest Famatigan, UPLB Perspective
  • Martha Teodoro
  • Melinda Quintos de Jesus, Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
  • Mia Noelle Rodriguez
  • Michael Navarro, Mindanao News Express TV
  • Michelle Zoleta, Quezon Chronos Publication
  • Minerva Z. Arceo, Pampanga Press Club.
  • Mona Lisa Yuchengco
  • Neni Sta. Romana Cruz, Women Writers in Media Now
  • Nicko Talavera, ONE News PH
  • Noemi L. Dado
  • Patricia Baes, Spot.ph
  • Patricia Lourdes Viray, Philstar.com
  • Paulynn P. Sicam, Women Writers in Media Now
  • Perfecto Caparas, Pinoy Publiko & Pressenza
  • Peter J. G. Tabingo, Malaya
  • Pia Regalado, Reportr.World
  • Prinz Magtulis
  • Raffy Lerma
  • Raffy Tima
  • Rameses Javier Casten, Ram Speaks
  • Ramon R. Tuazon
  • Ramon Royandoyan, Philstar.com
  • Raymund B. Villanueva, Kodao Productions
  • Red Batario, Center for Community Journalism and Development
  • Renz Sumalinog
  • Rey J. Garcia, The Mindanao Observer
  • Rhovin Luke Maglaqui, Philstar.com
  • Ricky Bautista, Samar Weekly Express and National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
  • Ricky Rivera, Impact Publishing
  • Rigie Malinao, Samar Daily News Online
  • Rizal Raoul Reyes
  • Robert Jaworski L. Abano, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Roby Alampay, PumaPodcast
  • Rochit I. Tanedo, Women Writers in Media Now
  • Roel Hoang Manipon, Daily Tribune
  • Romidor Gloriane, Bicol Express New
  • Rommel Lopez, PressOne.ph
  • Rosette Adel
  • Rowena Paraan, ABS-CBN
  • Roy Narra, One News/One PH
  • Ryan Christopher J. Sorote, DYWC TeleRadyo - Negros Oriental
  • Sean Rafio, Daily Guardian
  • Shawn Yao, ONE News PH
  • Shayla Pereyra, College Editors Guild of the Philippines
  • Sheila Coronel, Women Writers in Media Now
  • Sol Juvida
  • Sonia Capio, NUJP Nueva Ecija
  • Sonny Fernandez, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
  • Ted Aldwin Ong, peoplesdomain.net
  • Tess Bacalla
  • Therese San Diego Torres
  • Tita C. Valderama
  • Tonette Orejas, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  • Tony La Vina, PinoyMedia Center
  • Vergel Santos
  • Villamor C. Visaya Jr., Philippine Daily Inquirer and Luzonwide News Correspondent Publishing
  • Vince Jacob A. Visaya, The Manila Times and Luzonwide News Correspondent Publishing
  • Virgilio Cuizon, TFC NEWS
  • Xave Gregorio, Philstar.com
  • Yvonne T. Chua, University of the Philippines

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