Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Negros Press Denounces Proclamation 1017

Article 3 Alliance

No law shall be passed abridging the freedom of speech, of expression, or of the press, or the right of the people to peaceably assemble and petition the government for redress of their grievances.
Sec. 4, Art. III of the Bill of Rights

We, members of the Negros media community, denounce the issuance of Proclamation 1017 and vow to resist its use by the Arroyo government as a pretext to curtail Press Freedom and the People’s Right to Know.

We condemn in the strongest terms this administration’s blatant attempt to muzzle these freedoms by using the media as one of the bases for placing the country a state of national emergency.

The raid on the Daily Tribune, in particular, and the threat by this administration to shut down or takeover media organizations that refuse to abide by its restrictive and arbitrary “standards,” as well as the deployment of troops to television stations, stand out as a direct, despicable assault on the Press and on freedom of expression in general.

These incidents only serve to highlight the lack of respect for our freedoms and liberties by an administration that holds the record for having the most number of journalists – 37 at last count – murdered under its watch.

We laud our colleagues in the Tribune and the threatened networks for refusing to be cowed, and our other colleagues nationwide who have vowed to resist any and all attempts by government to curtail their free exercise of our profession.

We reject and will resist all attempts of this government to prevent us from the full exercise of our profession and our duty to bring to our audiences the accurate and timely information they need in these trying times.

Lastly, we call on the people to stand with us in defending and protecting our rights and liberties from all those who seek to curtail them.

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