'Rob fear of its power' – Maria Ressa
MANILA, Philippines - Hannah Neumann, member of the European Parliament and vice-chair of the Subcommittee on Human Rights, invited Rappler's Maria Ressa to talk about the Philippine drug war, the Duterte administration's attacks on the news organization, and what her recent verdict means for democracy and press freedom in the country.
The conversation happened via Instagram Live, with Neumann accepting questions from the audience. Neumann, herself having lived and worked in the Philippines, also shared her thoughts about the recent events in the country.
Ressa and Neumann talked about courage and what Filipinos can do to safeguard democracy.
"How are you not afraid? It's not by not being afraid," says Ressa. "Courage comes from confronting your fears, from touching it, and then robbing it of its powers to paralyze you."
Ressa believes 3 recent events – the pandemic, the ABS-CBN shutdown, and the passing of the Anti-Terror Bill – have further pushed people to demand better governance and to fight to protect their freedoms.
Despite everything, however, Ressa is still hopeful about a better future for the Philippines. She calls for compassion, empathy, and transparency, so that Filipinos can work together with the government to solve the country's toughest problems.
"I want [President Duterte] to do a good job because where he goes, he takes our entire nation," she says. "Even though they're good at propaganda, it doesn't solve the problems. And he will need all of our help to solve these problems. I wish the administration would have some humility to say it doesn't have the answers and to ask for help, because Filipinos want to help. Instead of being defensive or hiding, we need greater transparency. We need a healing effort, rather than a splintering."
Watch their conversation here. – Rappler.com