Freedom of speech should be universal. It allows for significant participants in the political and social dialogue to dare to tackle important or even controversial issues. And, journalists and media institutions have in their possession the skills and capabilities to draw stark and sometimes even explicit images that really strikes the core and truth of issues and problems. Stories matter and a wide range of perspectives is critical in educating and empowering the masses. The media can encourage debates and public pressures; it brings consciousness and makes it available to everyone.
To shut down one of the major broadcasters in the country is to suppress its press freedom.
The media speaks truth to power and challenges complacency in our government and institutions. In essence, it makes sure that power is never without responsibility.
The law is being weaponised to shut down criticisms; political capital is being exploited to stop people from pointing out injustices and uncomfortable facts. This is state power bearing down not only on what it deems unsympathetic journalism but also on freedom of expression. This is democratic deficit in action.
Have no mistake, this does not only curtail the ability of journalists and other media practitioners in trying to define and describe what is happening in our world; this is also going to disenfranchised a significant number of Filipino citizens in the process.
In this dark time, I hope the nation remains steadfast in its indignation and defiance… because with our very rights and liberties at stake, there is much to be angry about.