Rappler, the shutdown, and the assertion to defend press freedom"
Notes on a media entity being revoked by the government
on the basis of technicality
(or is it from the basis of political animosity?)
Whether it is on the basis of technicality or blatantly because it is an opposition mouthpiece, an attack to a press entity is an attack against the press itself.
For as president Duterte and his clique pointing guns against the media entity Rappler, what more that it end its license to run its enterprise revoked on an alleged basis of “foreign ownership”.
The intent is clear that the regime is creating an example towards a press whose intent is to “seek truth from facts”, particularly in regards to issues of the state and its people- or in regards to the regime and how it treats its people.
For an apologist, that revocation of Rappler’s corporate registration on the basis that it is “foreign owned” is just, citing that “only Filipinos should own media as any other utility”; but, in spite of its just clause, Rappler insist that it is itself Filipino-owned as any other media entity based in the Philippines.
On the first place, why is CNN, which is owned by Time Warner, have a license to broadcast in the Philippines? The late Antonio Cabangon Chua owns if not represents CNN in the Philippines on behalf of Ted Turner after the former led the successful negotiations between the RPN9 and CNN International, that paved way for the launch of that TV news channel!
Or, is it because that Rappler stood front and center in unmasking the Duterte administration of its crimes against the people such as the unmitigated murder of innocents under the guise of fighting drugs? Of justifying extrajudicial acts as imposition of justice? Or even redescribing deaths of innocents or wrongfully accused as collateral damages?
Like any other responsible press entity it tried its best to seek truth from facts knowing that it is a form of service to the people; but to silence them with alibis enough to justify is obviously trying to mask a blatant truth that is, to silence an entity the regime equated it to opposition and instability.
Ironically, that fiasco is a bit hypocritical especially when the thrust of the regime's Charter change now is to allow 100% foreign ownership of media as any other utility like power, water, infrastructure building, and the like.
But all in all, the system’s attack on Rappler brought the attention of the concerned, knowing that as in the past, the system is trying deny a nation again its hard won freedoms, such as freedom of expression and of the press, no matter how responsible or ethical are they in seeking truth, while ironically tolerating the exaggerators and sensationalists commonly seen in the news stands of Metro Manila.
Furthermore, It is not even limited to Rappler itself what more of its mainstream counterparts happened to be critical of the administration if not an opposition mouthpeice. For sure one would even say why the preference to react heavily to this shutdown but not to the killings of independent and regional media men for the past months (if not years) which Rappler or those from mainstream media itself did not bother to cover lots?
Anyway, in spite of all the bullshits, the concerned should stand for integrity and truth in news reporting, for responsible journalism and in seeking truth from facts; any attempt, especially by the system, through the organs of the State, and by the head of state himself, means to stifle press freedom that those who lived have fought for will again fight for it with all their cherished lives.