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1月31日のまにら新聞から

English Articles

[ 443 words|2020.1.31|英字 (English) ]

Vice President Leni Robredo said on Thursday the voice of the mainstream media should be stronger than the "heartless" trolls, enjoying no accountability.

Robredo made the call during a forum with the Foreign Correspondents' Association of the Philippines, which was also attended by Interior and Local Government Secretary Eduardo Año.

"An open government that allows the media, civil society, and any concerned citizen to speak out and call it out, ensures that the government remains accountable to the people it serves," she said.

"History has shown that Philippine media has never bowed down to any strongman, and in fact grows stronger when democracy is threatened," Robredo said, referring to the time of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

"On the other hand, heartless trolls for hire sit in cubicles spreading lies and disinformation, hide behind false identities, and enjoy absolutely no accountability," she said.

The Duterte administration allegedly has sets of trolls tasked to attack in social media those critical of the President and his government.

Robredo said the fourth estate has the power to be "truth-tellers."

"You are experienced and trained professionals who write your stories with fairness, truth, and urgency. You follow a code of ethics that preserve the very fabric of society," Robredo said.

Robredo, who is critical of the "brutal" anti-drug campaign of the Duterte administration, also cited the important role media plays to stop alleged extrajudicial killings in the country.

"Your mandate to shine a light on truth, especially on critical issues like the killings, must be protected. The integrity of the [fourth] estate is one the first things that must be preserved?not just in our country, but all over the world," she said.

Robredo recalled how she was threatened to be impeached when she came out with a video in 2017 criticizing President Rodrigo Duterte's bloody war on drugs.

"Trolls were weaponized. Personal attacks against me were launched. There were 'Impeach Leni' rallies outside the gates of the Office of the Vice President and in Luneta Park. The online and offline harassment continued unabated for a very long time," she said, adding that this even continued after her 18-day stint as co-chair of the Inter-Agency Committee on Anti-Illegal Drugs late last year.

But she said she has no regret for speaking up.

"If harassment and bullying go with the job, then so be it. Those in power may refuse to listen, but for me to remain silent would be an unforgivable failure on my part. Like I said before, if I could save just one individual from senseless killing, every minute and every hour spent helping the government fix the drug war would be worth it," she said. Celerina Monte/DMS