SEC order to shut down Rappler, attacks on independent media lay groundwork for digital martial law

Photo by Karl Romano/BenarNews

Photo by Karl Romano/BenarNews

Following President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent admission that he used his powers to target ABS-CBN and the blocking of the websites of Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s June 28, 2022 order to shut down Rappler sends a clear message: the Duterte administration wants to leave behind a shameless legacy of Marcosian attacks on press freedom — and that it is laying the groundwork for a digital martial law under the incoming Marcos-Duterte administration.

The chilling effect of these coordinated efforts cannot be understated, especially amid the already dismal state of human rights in the Philippines. With the incoming administration’s aversion to the media together with its machinery of lies and historical distortions, these actions set a dangerous precedent to further weaponize the law to muzzle and intimidate independent media, critical voices, and dissent.

Now more than ever, we must fight for a free press and to defend our hard-won rights and freedoms. Karapatan stands with Rappler and all press freedom advocates in denouncing these acts of censorship and State repression. We will not be silenced. We will continue to hold the line.

Cristina Palabay
Karapatan Secretary General