Statement condemning NTF-ELCAC’s black propaganda against ABS-CBN and Maria Ressa

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10 May 2020

 

We, media groups, news outfits, journalists, and academics, condemn the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for a black propaganda offensive on social media against ABS-CBN and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

These Facebook posts, while they have been taken down, are a brazenly criminal abuse of authority on the part of the NTF-ELCAC, replete with half-truths and outright lies that willfully endanger Maria and the management and personnel of the network that government shut down.

The only reason we can think of why a government entity tasked to combat the communist insurgency would wage a propaganda offensive against media persons and outfits is if government now considers us the enemy.

In fact, Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade, NTF-ELCAC spokesman and Southern Luzon Command chief, indicated as much. In a May 8 Philippine News Agency report, while insisting that press freedom was alive in this country, also warned critics of the ABS-CBN shutdown: “Yes to law and order! Otherwise you might just get the martial law that you deserve.”

Worse, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) aided in the slander by sharing these posts on its own page, although it later took these down, apparently after generating backlash from netizens.

While Communications Secretary Martin Andanar issued a statement saying the NTF-ELCAC posts were shared “without the usual vetting process of our office” and were “not in any way an official statement or an opinion of the PCOO,” neither did he apologize for his agency’s involvement nor even promise an investigation to identify those responsible for this reprehensibly irresponsible action.

We demand that government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), immediately mount an investigation into who in the NTF-ELCAC were responsible for ordering and creating the slanderous posts and why.

At a time when our people are battling a deadly pandemic, it is extremely unacceptable that there are those in government who are making media repression, not saving lives, as the priority.

INDIVIDUALS:

  1. Manny Mogato
  2. Inday Espina-Varona
  3. Marites Vitug
  4. Etta Rosales
  5. Antonio J. Montalvan II
  6. Eunice Barbara C. Novio
  7. Tony La Viña
  8. John Nery
  9. Noemi L. Dado
  10. Leslie Manalo
  11. Lisa Garcia
  12. Bart Guingona
  13. Al Alegre
  14. Marian Pastor Roces
  15. Gang Badoy
  16. Ramon Tuazon
  17. Tess Bacalla
  18. Red Batario, Center for Community Journalism and Development
  19. Yvonne Clerigo
  20. Ann Lourdes Lopez
  21. Jimmy A. Domingo
  22. Chebelle A. Velasco
  23. Jane Uymatiao
  24. Bernice Soriano
  25. Therese San Diego Torres
  26. Imelda Samson
  27. Joel Pablo Salud, editor and author
  28. Ellen Tordesillas
  29. Joyce Panares
  30. Melvin Gascon
  31. Mike Navallo, ABS-CBN News
  32. Jacque Manabat, ABS-CBN News
  33. Sheilla Diamse, ABS-CBN News
  34. Melanie S. Masecampo, ABS-CBN News
  35. Brian Vallesteros, ABS-CBN News
  36. Sarah Herrera, ABS-CBN News
  37. Gigi Gervasio, ABS-CBN News
  38. Reyjohn Mark Sangcap, ABS-CBN News
  39. Descirey Villanueva, ABS-CBN News
  40. Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News
  41. Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News
  42. Isay Reyes, ABS-CBN News
  43. Jeck Batallones, ABS-CBN News
  44. Tarra Quismundo, ABS-CBN News
  45. Gerry Lirio, ABS-CBN News
  46. Henry Omaga-Diaz, ABS-CBN News
  47. Engelbert Apostol, Executive Producer, Umagang Kay Ganda, ABS-CBN
  48. Bea Cupin, Rappler
  49. Pia Ranada, Rappler
  50. Jodesz Gavilan, Rappler
  51. Matthew Reysio-Cruz, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  52. Herbie Gomez, Mindanao Gold Star Daily
  53. Cong Corrales, Mindanao Gold Star Daily
  54. Antonio J. Montalvan II
  55. Rogelio Cultura, filmmaker
  56. Yvonne Chua, UP Department of Journalism
  57. Diosa Labiste, UP Department of Journalism
  58. Lucia Tangi, UP Department of Journalism
  59. Ivy Lisa Mendoza, UP Department of Journalism
  60. Janvic Mateo, UP Department of Journalism
  61. Felipe F. Salvosa II, UST Journalism faculty
  62. Christian V. Esguerra, UST Journalism faculty
  63. Anna Cielo T. Perez, UST Journalism faculty
  64. J Alwyn T. Alburo, UST Journalism faculty
  65. Ferdinand J. Maglalang, UST Journalism faculty
  66. Leo O. Laparan II, UST Journalism faculty
  67. Danilo Arao, associate editor, Bulatlat
  68. Beatrice Puente, editor-in-chief, Philippine Collegian
  69. Rommel Rutor, president, Samar Island Press Club
  70. Mate Espina
  71. Jes Aznar
  72. Jairo Bolledo, PUP Department of Journalism
  73. Pat S. Roque
  74. Ansbert Joaquin
  75. Julie Alipala
  76. Raffy Cabristante
  77. Jojo Riñoza
  78. JB R Deveza
  79. Tyrone Velez, SunStar Davao
  80. Frank Cimatu, Cordillera News Agency/Baguio Writers Group
  81. Ed Lingao
  82. Barnaby Lo
  83. Stanley Buenafe Gajete
  84. Yolanda Sotelo
  85. Joanna Aglibot
  86. Rowena Paraan

 

ORGANIZATIONS:

  1. Rappler
  2. ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees’ Union
  3. Philippine Press Institute
  4. Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
  5. Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism
  6. MindaNews
  7. National Union of Journalists of the Philippines
  8. NUJP-Europe
  9. NUJP-Middle East
  10. NUJP-Albay
  11. NUJP-Baguio Benguet
  12. NUJP-Quezon
  13. NUJP-NCR
  14. NUJP-Samar
  15. Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation
  16. VERA Files
  17. Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines
  18. Kodao Productions
  19. Bulatlat
  20. Panay Today
  21. Dampig Katarungan
  22. Panaysayon
  23. Altermidya Network
  24. Northern Dispatch
  25. Davao Today
  26. Kilab Multimedia
  27. Tudla Productions
  28. Manila Today
  29. College Editors Guild of the Philippines
  30. UJP-Diliman
  31. International Association of Women in Radio and Television-Philippines chapter

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