Arrest of Maria Ressa & Attacks on Press Freedom Shows Duterte’s Desperation

The Malaya Movement strongly condemns the recent arrest of Maria Ressa, co-founder and head of online news outlet, Rappler, and a vocal critic of the Duterte regime. This recent attack is not the first of its kind under the Duterte regime and is part of his fascist crackdown on press freedom. Several alternative media outlets, like Altermidya, Bulatlat, Pinoy Weekly and Kodao have been cyber attacked, many resulting in crashed websites and shutdowns. This is evidence that the Duterte regime is becoming more desperate in silencing the growing voices of dissent.

Maria Ressa, named as Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2018, is one of the nation’s top journalists.  Since Duterte’s inauguration in 2016, Rappler and other social media and online news sources have received a flurry of criticism from Duterte himself, even going as far to claim these news sources who fight to tell the truth as “fake news”.  Ressa claims the attacks on Rappler and other truth telling media outlets are politically motivated to intimidate and toe the line of deception from reality. She believes her recent warrant of arrest stems from a complaint filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng over his alleged ties to former Chief Justice Renato Corona. These false charges are just as fake as those placed on human rights defenders and activists who were arrested and are now part of the growing number of political prisoners reaching beyond 500.

“But that still doesn’t mean that Rappler or I hope any journalist in the Philippines will stop telling the truth. We will and must hold the line. We will and must say when the constitution is violated.” Stated Ressa.

The Malaya Movement calls on all freedom loving Filipinos and the American people to raise our voices against these tyrannical moves by the Duterte regime. We reiterate our call to the American government to end all forms of support to the Duterte regime, especially the sending of our tax dollars to fund the Philippine military and the Philippine national police. We must let the world know we stand behind progressive media outlets and journalists who lay their lives on the line to get the truth out especially under these fascist conditions.  

This makes it all the more urgent for everyone who is fighting for human rights and democracy in the Philippines to come together. We enjoin everyone to attend the National Summit for Human Rights and Democracy in Philippines on April 5 to 7 in Washington, D.C. The Summit will bring together journalists, artists, youth, professionals, and community leaders to discuss the dire situation in the Philippines especially during this upcoming election season. For inquiries, please contact malayamovement@gmail.com

TAKE ACTION!

Malaya Movement calls on everyone to participate in a media blackout barrage in support of Maria Ressa by changing your social media profile pictures to the image provided and sign on to the campaign to End US Support for the Duterte Regime: Demand a Senate Hearing Now!

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