President Rodrigo Duterte answers queries from the media at a restaurant in Davao City on Aug. 24, 2016. PPD/Karl Norman Alonzo, File

UST media organizations condemn Duterte gov’t 'attacks on the press'
Gaea Katreena Cabico ( - February 23, 2018 - 3:43pm
MANILA, Philippines — Student publications and media organizations from the University of Santo Tomas united as one to denounce the current administration’s attempts to assault the press and silence dissenters.
“We loudly decry President Duterte’s attacks on the press and the administration’s attempts to discredit the media with its active support in spreading online disinformation,” the Thomasian organizations and publications said in a statement Wednesday. 
They cited the president’s decision to ban Rappler reporter Pia Ranada from entering the presidential complex and the revocation of the news outfit’s registration as among the attacks hurled by the administration at the press. 
 “In these crucial times when our freedoms are being attacked and threatened, we, campus journalists, writers and media practitioners, must stand and fight to defend our rights,” the students said. 
The publications and groups also slammed the appointment of pro-administration bloggers to key government positions such as communications assistant secretary Margaux “Mocha” Uson, who is known for spreading disinformation and attacking critics of the Duterte regime. 
“To this end, we will continue to uphold the freedom of the press, freedom of expression and the democratic rights of the students, the youth and the Filipino people in the face of an increasingly authoritarian regime,” they said.  
University students all over the Philippines are staging walkouts on Friday to condemn the administration’s attack on press freedom, extrajudicial killings linked to the government’s brutal war on drugs, the proposed revision or amendment to the 1987 Constitution, among others. 

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