Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA)
The Southeast Asian Press Alliance is gravely concerned by the declaration of a state of emergency in the Philippines, and condemns in the strongest possible terms government moves to curtail freedom of the press in the context of the political chaos.
News reports from Manila say a newspaper sympathetic to the opposition has been raided and is closely being monitored by the police.
Meanwhile, the broadcasting industry is bracing for a possible clamp down. Philippine newspapers have been quoting officials as warning the media not to encourage or aid elements allegedly behind a coup attempt through their reporting.
Philippine officials also said they will discuss with publishers possible guidelines for reporting on the country's volatile situation.
"The harassment of the press is uncalled for, the guidelines are unnecessary and unconstitutional, and the whole move to control the media is suspicious," SEAPA Executive Director Roby Alampay said.
"Amid allegations that the Philippine president is either overreacting to, or overstating, an alleged threat to the state, it is imperative that Philippine journalists be allowed to do their job without fear of reprisals from the military and/or the government."
SEAPA is a Bangkok-based alliance of free press advocacy groups from around Southeast Asia.
Its members are the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, the Jakarta-based Alliance of Independent Journalists, the Jakarta-based Institute for the Free Flow of Information (ISAI), and the Thai Journalists Association.
Mr. Roby Alampay
Tel. (662)2 435579