The revocation by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of Rappler’s license to operate is but one of the many ironies and follies of the brewing dictatorship of the Duterte regime.
Beyond the issue of who really owns and operates the online news company, the Filipino people cannot abandon the real reason behind this government maneuvering.
Rappler has, on many accounts, critiqued the Duterte government’s anti-people policies and actions — from investigative reports regarding political dynasties, corruption and under the table negotiations with the Marcoses, to the rigorous reports on Duterte’s war on drugs. The said SEC move could only be logically determined as a political harassment and an outright attack against press freedom.
The Duterte regime seems hellbent on surpassing the Martial Laws of Marcos and Arroyo. Not only has it outnumbered the daily massacres of the poor via its tokhang, in and out of Manila, and via its counter-insurgency military operations especially among the impoverished farmers and lumads, it has also attacked and continues to attack progressive, militant and alternative media organizations, practitioners, journalists and media workers.
History repeats itself, now with greater and highly-specific attacks against vanguards of press freedom, against reportage, coverage and critique of the misconducts of this regime.
Thus, media people, advocates of press freedom, and the Filipino people should and must unite against this tyrannical rule. United the Filipino should be to once again repeat history: to consolidate ranks and to thwart this tyranny.
Uphold press freedom!