3 May 2019

Nakakalungkot pong isipin na sa halip na nagdidiwang tayo kasama ang buong mundo ngayong World Press Freedom Day ay nakikipaglaban tayo araw-araw para sa ating karapatan sa katotohanan na pilit inililihis o ninanakaw lang ng iilan.


Press freedom is under attack in the Philippines, and so are the members of the media who deliver the truth to the people. Lantaran na po ang pagnanakaw sa katotohanan. Andiyan ang maya’t mayang fake news, ang pagdedemanda at panggigipit sa mga media institutions, ang pagpapakulong at pagpatay sa mga taga-media, at ang historical revisionism na ipinapakalat tungkol sa Martial Law noong panahon mga Marcos. Lahat ng ito ay atake sa press freedom. Lahat ng ito ay pagnanakaw sa katotohanan.


The people deserve the truth and unhampered access to a media that is not cowed and strained by threats and intimidation, especially from the governments. Press freedom is one of the pillars of a vibrant democracy, but if the press is under heavy attack, then democracy fails with it.
I appeal to the president not to plunge the country in the Dark Ages of press freedom. The people need access to the truth if they are to exercise their right to suffrage, their right to vote in the next elections. If this fails, then another pillar of democracy falls.


But there is reason to celebrate World Press Freedom Day. Let this be an occasion to stand against impunity and attacks to press freedom. Let us continue to defend it, para po sa kapakanan ng ating mga kababayan at sa kapakanan ng ating bansa. ###
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Samira Gutoc, an Otso Diretso senatorial candidate, champions peace. She was recognized by the Philippine Daily Inquirer as Filipino of the Year in 2017 and by the Junior Chamber International as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM).