Philippine Media Statement on the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020

THE SUPREME Court is hearing oral arguments on petitions against the Anti-Terrorism Act (ATA) of 2020. We, editors and reporters of news organizations around the Philippines, join the voices of various sectors opposing provisions of the law that trample upon fundamental freedoms, including the freedom of the press.

Section 9 of the ATA proscribes speech, proclamations, writings, emblems, and banners that fall under the new crime of “inciting to terrorism,” imposing a penalty of 12 years in prison. As the law fails to provide a clear definition of terrorism and is vague about what constitutes acts of terrorism, Section 9 could make media practitioners vulnerable to wrongful charges and arrests, producing  a  chilling effect on all media practice.

Government’s assurance that protection clauses are in place fly in the face of the experience of news organizations and journalists who have been red-tagged and branded as “terrorists” by government and security officials.  With the government’s anti-insurgency campaign causing a rise in killings of activists, we fear for the safety of our colleagues. 

We call on the government to uphold the freedom of the press. We demand that the rights and safety of journalists and media houses be respected and protected at all times. Many of us have seen how efforts to go after “enemies of the people” have led to zealous securitization of the government’s response to the problems of the country.

The ATA will not succeed in reducing the threat of terrorism with over-reaching prohibitions on expressive as well as political freedoms. It will reduce this country to a field of submissive and unquestioning individuals, to be herded like sheep by the police and the military. We reject the Anti-Terrorism Act!


Media Organizations

  1. Tess Bacalla for Asia Democracy Chronicles
  2. Felix Espinida Jr. for BicolExpress.Net
  3. Len Olea for Bulatlat
  4. Red Batario for the Center for Community Journalism and Development
  5. Melinda De Jesus for Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility
  6. Francis Allan Angelo for the Daily Guardian 
  7. Herbie Gomez for the Gold Star Daily
  8. Carolyn Arguillas for Mindanews
  9. Jonathan de Santos for the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP)
  10. Carmela Fonbuena for the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ)
  11. Ariel Sebellino for the Philippine Press Institute (PPI)
  12. Ezra Acayan for the Photojournalist’s Center of the Philippines (PCP)
  13. Glenda Gloria for Rappler 
  14. Bobby Labalan for Sorsogon Organization of News Writers, Announcers and Reporters (SONAR) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Sorsogon
  15. Lucia Tangi for the U.P. Department of Journalism
  16. Ellen Tordesillas for VERA Files
  17. Sol Juvida for Women Writers in Media

In their individual capacities: 

  1. Michelle Abad, Rappler
  2. Patricia Aquino, Pumapodcast
  3. Ana Corina Arceo, Rappler
  4. Jez Aznar
  5. Samantha Bagayas, Rappler
  6. Bernice Beltran, PCP
  7. Jairo Bolledo, Rappler
  8. Lian Buan, Rappler
  9. Kaye Cabal, Rappler
  10. Gaea Katreena Cabico
  11. Amalia Cabusao, PPI
  12. Gerg Cahiles
  13. Gerard Carreon, PCP
  14. Mara Cepeda, Rappler
  15. Adelle ChuaIan Nicolas Cigaral
  16. Alec Corpuz, PCP
  17. Cong B. Corrales, Mindanao Gold Star Daily
  18. Bea Cupin, Rappler
  19. Noemi Lardizabal Dado
  20. Camille Diola
  21. Jimmy Domingo, PCP
  22. Camille Elemia, Rappler
  23. Maria Elena Catajan 
  24. Paterno Esmaquel, Rappler
  25. Marchel Espina
  26. Nonoy Espina, NUJP
  27. Sharlene Festin, PCP
  28. Chay Hofileña, Rappler
  29. Karol Ilagan, PCIJ
  30. Jodesz Gavilan, Rappler
  31. Miriam Grace Go, Rappler
  32. Xave Gregorio
  33. Kenneth Roland Guda, PCIJ
  34. Jules Guiang, Rappler
  35. Carljoe Javier, Pumapodcast
  36. LeAnne Jazul, Rappler
  37. Jee Jeronimo, Rappler
  38. Victor D. Kintanar, PCP
  39. Dwight De Leon, Rappler
  40. Marguerite de Leon, Rappler
  41. Raffy Lerma, PCP
  42. Ed Lingao
  43. Barnaby Lo 
  44. Franco Luna
  45. Pauline Macaraeg, Rappler
  46. Bonz Magsambol, Rappler
  47. Prinz Magtulis
  48. Julius Mariveles, Digital News Exchange
  49. Bullit Marquez
  50. Manny Mogato
  51. John Nery, columnist, Philippine Daily Inquirer
  52. Bella Perez-Rubio
  53. Chris Quintana, PCP
  54. Pia Ranada, Rappler
  55. James Relativo
  56. Maria Ressa Rappler
  57. Jojo Riñoza, PCP
  58. Rick Rocamora, PCP
  59. Chery Salazar, PCIJ
  60. Mark Z. Saludes, PCP
  61. David Santos
  62. Basilio Sepe, PCP
  63. Fernando Sepe Jr., PCP
  64. Raisa Marielle Serafica, Rappler
  65. Floreen Simon, PCIJ
  66. Rambo Talabong, Rappler
  67. Maria Tan, PCP
  68. Cristina Gratia Tantengco, Pumapodcast
  69. Raffy Tima
  70. Sofia Tomacruz, Rappler
  71. Bernadette Uy, PCP
  72. Inday Espina Varona
  73. Chito dela Vega, Rappler
  74. Daniel Vicedo, PCP
  75. Pau Villanueva, PCP
  76. Patricia Lourdes Viray
  77. Sofia Virtudes, Rappler
  78. Marites Vitug, Rappler