Peasant organizations and peasant advocacy groups vehemently condemn the cease-and-desist order released by the NTC at the instigation of Malacañang against telecommunications giant ABS-CBN today. This move exposes once again the tyrannical and callous nature of the Duterte regime. Amid a pandemic and a lockdown which has devastated the livelihood of millions, this order threats to displace thousands more of media workers undertaking the essential job of propagating timely and reliable information.
Shutting-down a renowned media giant such as ABS-CBN will likely be followed by the gagging of other media outlets (on print, television, and radio) which air legitimate criticisms against anti-people government policies.
The Duterte administration has earlier threatened to shut the ABS-CBN down because the president was hurt when the station refused to air his campaign advertisement during the 2016 elections. The president also got infuriated because of the station’s critique and coverage of his bloody war on drugs.
This crude act of suppression of the freedom of the press and freedom of expression must not be tolerated in any way.
Instead of wasting government resources at bullying legitimate media organizations, the Duterte regime should focus its efforts on facing the current global pandemic and in addressing the needs of the people for healthcare, socioeconomic security, and information.
We call on everyone to defend our democratic rights to information and expression. Let us use the colors red, green, and blue in our protests against this latest tyrannical move by the Duterte regime.
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