The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines expresses its gratitude to Special Rapporteur Irene Khan for putting forward recommendations that aim to strengthen the protection of journalists and media freedom in particular, and freedom of expression in general.
We share Ms. Khan's views about red-tagging, and we agree that the NTF-ELCAC should be abolished for its role in vilifying dissent, reportage, and the legitimate exercise of civil and political rights.
We hope that the Philippine government issues a categorical policy against such practice.
NUJP is also elated that Ms. Khan pointed out how Cybercrime Prevention Act has chilled media freedom, particularly the provision on cyber libel. She described libel laws as a relic of the colonial past. It is high time that the Philippines decriminalizes libel.
We also thank Ms. Khan for visiting Frenchie Mae Cumpio, and for declaring that "Justice delayed is justice denied."
Ms. Khan's statement regarding website blocking of alternative media outfits and progressive organizations should compel the National Telecommunications Commission to junk the June 20, 2022 memorandum.
Her comments on the Administrative Order No. 35 and the PTFoMS could never be more accurate.
Their actions are not enough to protect journalists and human rights defenders.
Government agencies should do more to bring perpetrators of killings to justice.
NUJP also agrees with Ms. Khan's reservations against the draconian provisions of the Anti-Terror Act. The Marcos Jr. administration should veer away from anti-terrorism rhetoric in justifying attacks on journalists and human rights defenders.
NUJP hopes that the Philippine government heeds the recommendations of the Special Rapporteur by taking concrete measures for the protection of the Filipino people's right to free expression and opinion. (National Union of Journalists of the Philippines)