Palace says freedom, democracy alive in Philippines
Malacanang said on Friday that freedom and democracy are alive in the Philippines amid alleged government's series of attacks on press freedom.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said the Duterte administration was not stopping any protest, similar to the Black Friday Protest for Freedom held in Quezon City.
"This evening’s Black Friday Protest for Freedom, organized by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, is a testament that freedom is alive and democracy is alive in the Philippines," he said.
"The Palace position on the matter remains clear and consistent: We allow public displays of constructive criticism as part of full exercise of the protesters’ rights to express their grievances," Roque added.
According to NUJP, the protest was the first of the series of actions in “defense of press freedom, freedom of expression and all our other rights and liberties that are directly threatened by the very government supposed to defend and uphold these."
The rally was organized after the Securities and Exchange Commission ordered the revocation of license of news website Rappler allegedly for violating constitutional provision on 100 percent Filipino ownership of mass media.
Rappler has been critical of the Duterte administration.
"Authorities, as a matter of standard operating procedure, will observe maximum tolerance and respect the protesters’ right to peaceful assembly," Roque said. Celerina Monte/DMS