Media, academics condemn NTF-ELCAC's attacks vs ABS-CBN and Maria Ressa

The following is the statement of media groups, news outfits, journalists, and academics released Sunday, May 10, in response to the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict's social media posts against ABS-CBN and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

We, media groups, news outfits, journalists, and academics, condemn the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for a black propaganda offensive on social media against ABS-CBN and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa. 

Screenshot of PCOO Facebook post.

Screenshot of PCOO Facebook post.

Screenshot of PCOO Facebook post.

Screenshot of PCOO Facebook post.

Screenshot of PCOO Facebook post.

Screenshot of PCOO Facebook post.

These Facebook posts, while they have been taken down, are a brazenly criminal abuse of authority on the part of the NTF-ELCAC, replete with half-truths and outright lies that willfully endanger Maria and the management and personnel of the network that government shut down

The only reason we can think of why a government entity tasked to combat the communist insurgency would wage a propaganda offensive against media persons and outfits is if government now considers us the enemy. (READ: Lives in danger as red-tagging campaign intensifies)

In fact, Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade, NTF-ELCAC spokesman and Southern Luzon Command chief, indicated as much. In a May 8 Philippine News Agency report, while insisting that press freedom was alive in this country, also warned critics of the ABS-CBN shutdown: "Yes to law and order! Otherwise you might just get the martial law that you deserve." 

Worse, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) aided in the slander by sharing these posts on its own page, although it later took these down, apparently after generating backlash from netizens. 

While Communications Secretary Martin Andanar issued a statement saying the NTF-ELCAC posts were shared "without the usual vetting process of our office" and were "not in any way an official statement or an opinion of the PCOO," neither did he apologize for his agency's involvement nor even promise an investigation to identify those responsible for this reprehensibly irresponsible action. 

We demand that government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), immediately mount an investigation into who in the NTF-ELCAC were responsible for ordering and creating the slanderous posts and why. 

At a time when our people are battling a deadly pandemic, it is extremely unacceptable that there are those in government who are making media repression, not saving lives, as the priority.

INDIVIDUALS:
1. Manny Mogato
2. Inday Espina-Varona
3. Marites Vitug
4. Etta Rosales
5. Antonio J. Montalvan II
6. Eunice Barbara C. Novio
7. Tony La Viña
8. John Nery
9. Noemi L. Dado
10. Leslie Manalo
11. Lisa Garcia
12. Bart Guingona
13. Al Alegre
14. Marian Pastor Roces
15. Gang Badoy
16. Ramon Tuazon
17. Tess Bacalla
18. Red Batario, Center for Community Journalism and Development
19. Yvonne Clerigo
20. Ann Lourdes Lopez
21. Jimmy A. Domingo
22. Chebelle A. Velasco
23. Jane Uymatiao
24. Bernice Soriano
25. Therese San Diego Torres
26. Imelda Samson
27. Joel Pablo Salud, editor and author
28. Ellen Tordesillas
29. Joyce Panares
30. Melvin Gascon
31. Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News
32. Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News
33. Sheilla Diamse, ABS-CBN News            
34. Melanie S. Masecampo, ABS-CBN News
35. Brian Vallesteros, ABS-CBN News
36. Sarah Herrera, ABS-CBN News
37. Gigi Gervasio, ABS-CBN News
38. Reyjohn Mark Sangcap, ABS-CBN News
39. Descirey Villanueva, ABS-CBN News
40. Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News
41. Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News
42. Isay Reyes, ABS-CBN News
43. Jeck Batallones, ABS-CBN News
44. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News
45. Gerry Lirio, ABS-CBN News
46. Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News
47. Engelbert Apostol, Executive Producer, Umagang Kay Ganda, ABS-CBN
48. Bea Cupin, Rappler
49. Pia Ranada, Rappler
50. Jodesz Gavilan, Rappler
51. Matthew Reysio-Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer
52. Herbie Gomez, Mindanao Gold Star Daily
53. Cong Corrales, Mindanao Gold Star Daily
54. Antonio J. Montalvan II
55. Rogelio Cultura, filmmaker
56. Yvonne Chua, UP Department of Journalism
57. Diosa Labiste, UP Department of Journalism
58. Lucia Tangi, UP Department of Journalism
59. Ivy Lisa Mendoza, UP Department of Journalism
60. Janvic Mateo, UP Department of Journalism
61. Felipe F. Salvosa II, UST Journalism faculty
62. Christian V. Esguerra, UST Journalism faculty
63. Anna Cielo T. Perez, UST Journalism faculty
64. J Alwyn T. Alburo, UST Journalism faculty
65. Ferdinand J. Maglalang, UST Journalism faculty
66. Leo O. Laparan II, UST Journalism faculty
67. Danilo Arao, associate editor, Bulatlat
68. Beatrice Puente, editor-in-chief, Philippine Collegian
69. Rommel Rutor, president, Samar Island Press Club
70. Mate Espina
71. Jes Aznar
72. Jairo Bolledo, PUP Department of Journalism
73. Pat S. Roque
74. Ansbert Joaquin
75. Julie Alipala
76. Raffy Cabristante
77. Jojo Riñoza
78. JB R Deveza
79. Tyrone Velez, SunStar Davao
80. Frank Cimatu, Cordillera News Agency/Baguio Writers Group
81. Ed Lingao
82. Barnaby Lo
83. Stanley Buenafe Gajete
84. Yolanda Sotelo
85. Joanna Aglibot
86. Rowena Paraan

ORGANIZATIONS:
1. Rappler
2. ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees’ Union
3. Philippine Press Institute
4. Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
5. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
6. MindaNews
7. National Union of Journalists of the Philippines 
8. NUJP-Europe
9. NUJP-Middle East
10. NUJP-Albay
11. NUJP-Baguio Benguet
12. NUJP-Quezon
13. NUJP-NCR 
14. NUJP-Samar
15. Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation 
16. VERA Files 
17. Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines
18. Kodao Productions
19. Bulatlat
20. Panay Today
21. Dampig Katarungan
22. Panaysayon 
23. Altermidya Network
24. Northern Dispatch
25. Davao Today
26. Kilab Multimedia
27. Tudla Productions
28. Manila Today
29. College Editors Guild of the Philippines
30. UJP-Diliman
31. International Association of Women in Radio and Television-Philippines chapter

– Rappler.com