MANILA, Philippines– Student groups and other organizations from different parts of the country are organizing protest actions to defend press freedom, following the arrest of Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa for cyber libel.
Ressa was arrested and detained overnight on Wednesday, February 13, by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) because of a warrant issued by Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa of Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46.
The case stemmed from a 7-year-old story written before the cyber libel law was enacted.
Members of media and other groups have slammed the Duterte government for the arrest, with National Union of Journalists of the Philippines calling it “persecution by a bully government”.
University leaders and student groups also condemned the arrest, saying schools must defend truth.
Among the student organizations holding rallies in defense of press freedom are the University of the Philippines College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC) and College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP). Both rallies are open to the public.
Here is a running list of rallies to defend press freedom:
Black Friday protest at Don Alejandro Roces Park, Quezon City (6 pm) on February 15
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) and Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI), along with other groups, will hold a Black Friday protest in the spirit of defending press freedom.
De La Salle University (DLSU) at PGP Chapel (5:30 pm) on February 15
DLSU-Manila is inviting people to defend press freedom and democracy through a mass at the Pearl of Great Price Chapel at 5:30pm. After the mass is a candle-lighting ceremony in front of the St. La Salle Hall.
People are encouraged to wear black.
The Confederation of Publications of the Ateneo at ADMU Gate 2.5 (5:00 pm) on February 15
The GUIDON, Heights Ateneo, and Matanglawin Ateneo are inviting the Loyola Schools community to an act of solidarity towards the “continuous fight” for press freedom. People are encouraged to wear black.
Anakbayan at UST Gate 11, Dapitan (12:00 nn) on February 14
Anakbayan – University of Santo Tomas (UST) will protest at UST Gate 11, Dapitan, at 12 nn to “unite against media censorship” and defend press freedom.
As THOMASIANS, we are called to be defenders of the truth. Unite against media censorship! VERITAS IN CARITATE!— Anakbayan – UST #StruggleAmidFascism (@AnakbayanUST) February 14, 2019
DEFEND! DEFEND! DEFEND PRESS FREEDOM!
Protest @ UST Gate 11, Dapitan
12 noon#DefendPressFreedom#EndStateFascism pic.twitter.com/NhnF45psUp
CEGP Cebu at UP Cebu entrance gate (12:30pm) on February 14
CEGP Cebu will hold a quick response protest at the UP Cebu entrance gate at 12:30 pm.
UP-CMC at CMC Veranda (4pm) on February 14
At 4 pm, UP-CMC will hold a protest action at CMC Veranda to denounce the “latest attack on press freedom”. The public is invited.
From cyberattacks to cyberlibel, attempts to gag the media continue! Stop the attacks against the media! Join the protest tomorrow, February 14 at the UP College of Mass Communication!#DefendPressFreedom#AssertPeoplesRightToKnow#DefendIndependentMedia pic.twitter.com/gY8q3NZdiH— Altermidya (@Altermidya) February 13, 2019
League of Filipino Students (Metro Manila) on February 14
Youth groups under the League of Filipino Students will hold rallies in various parts of Metro Manila to condemn the “sudden arrest of Rappler’s Maria Ressa and the continuous threats of the Duterte government against the right to press freedom.”
4:30 pm: De La Salle University south gate
5 pm: Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP) College of Communication car park
If you know of any related events and gatherings, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. – Rappler.com