Statement of FEU Advocate on attacks against UE Dawn chief editor

FEU Advocate
April 05, 2020 15:54

FEU Advocate condemns the recent attack against freedom of speech following the barangay officials of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija's alleged threat to file a cyber-libel case against UE Dawn's Editor-in-Chief (EIC), Joshua B. Molo.

In online posts, Molo demonstrated his thoughts against his high school teachers. He expressed his disappointment that his former advisers chose to "make fun" of his criticisms against the government's slow response to COVID-19. 

Following this, the barangay officials brought Molo and his mother to the barangay hall to face a blotter-complaint that his high school teachers filed against him.

Based on the paralegal report that Joel Pablo Salud posted, the EIC of Philippines Graphic Magazine, the barangay officials gave an option to have Molo sign a waiver saying “that he will not post any anti-government sentiment again and issue a public apology, or face arrest and detention.”

Molo’s public apology was posted thereafter but the barangay officials then requested him to change the privacy settings of the video as it went viral.

This is a detestable act against press freedom and freedom of speech as it deliberately attacks Molo’s right to express his thoughts. In addition, it is every Filipino’s right to criticize the government as need be.

As student journalists, it is our duty to stand with the truth. Following this, FEU Advocate condemns the barangay officials and the complainants involved with threatening Molo for their blatant move against his freedom of speech.

According to Article III Section 4 of the Bill of Rights, "no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people peaceably to assemble and petition the government for redress of grievances."

In addition, we encourage the barangay officials and the teachers involved in the complaint to support the youth to be involved in “youth patriotism and nationalism, and encourage their involvement in public and civic affairs” as stated in Article II Section 13 of the State Policies.

With the health crisis the country is going through, it is even more imperative that we remain critical and watchful not only as student journalists but as Filipino citizens. 

We must fight bravely when our freedom is threatened and our voices silenced--now more than ever.