Breaking: Freedom of the Press, democracy  is dead in the Philippines

Maria Reesa sentenced to six years in jail for cyber libel 

What Duterte wants, Duterte gets


Teodoro ’Ted’ Alcuitas


Just as we expected, Maria Ressa, the indefatigable founder and CEO of the online newspaper Rappler, has been found guilty of cyber libel today, June 14, (yesterday in the Philippines).

For us, it was a foregone outcome of a farcical trial under the ‘de facto’ martial law conditions of the Philippines.

No judge, not even the Supreme Court, will dare to go against the wishes of the tyrant, President Rodrigo Duterte.

A free press is the last bastion in a democracy.

Without it, tyrants can do as they will for nobody will hold them accountable.

That is what another tyrant, the dictator Ferdinand Marcos did when he declared martial law on September 21, 1972. His first act was to close all media in the Philippines – radio, television and newspapers, except one or two that served as his mouthpiece.

But while Marcos did it in one fell swoop, catching his opponents by surprise, immobilizing them, Duterte plays it another way.

He “kills” (his word of choice) his opponents little by little – a death by a thousand cuts as they say.

Either way, the intention is to strike fear to his critics.

He has just completed ‘killing’ the Philippines largest television conglomerate, ABS/CBN by not renewing its license to operate.

With the passing of the Anti-Terrorism Law, he pretends to have another weapon in his arsenal – supposedly to go after imagined “terrorists”.

He doesn’t need the Anti-Terrorism Law. 

He is the Law!

Did he need a law to kill randomly, without benefit of  due process, the more than 30,000 victims of his so-called ‘drug war’?

Undoubtedly, the Philippines is under martial law, albeit under an illusion of freedom.

Oh yes, Duterte really cares and love his people if his many supporters, including here in Canada, is to be believed.

While thousands are dying and suffering under the Coronavirus crisis, he is more concerned about “terrorists” than solving the problem.

He puts the country under lockdown, so severely implemented that he even had a tank patrol a street in Cebu City to scare the people into their own ‘prisons’.

Today is a black day in Philippine history as another nail is driven into the coffin of democracy.

But as in the killing of Senator Ninoy Aquino by the dictator Marcos, it did not kill the spirit of the people.

The people will rise again as they did in the People Power Revolution that toppled the dictator Marcos, 14 years after his tyrannical rule.

We do not know what form it will take to oust Duterte but all the signs are there.

We are hopeful that when the confluence of forces happen, another tyrant will surely fall.

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