Is history repeating itself? Let’s take a look at some parallels in Philippine history — familiar occurrences during the Martial Law era that seem to mirror modern day headlines.
Silencing the media then:
Within the first week of his declaration of Martial Law, dictator Ferdinand Marcos issued Letter of Instruction No. 1, authorizing the military to take over the assets of major media outlets including the ABS-CBN network, Channel 5, and various radio stations across the country.
As justification for this mass sequestration of media assets, the Letter of Instruction cited the involvement of these media outlets with the Communist movement. Specifically, Marcos accused mainstream media of discrediting the administration, by propagating news that exposed its weaknesses to feed the flames of the Communist movement.
Teodoro Locsin Sr., publisher of the Philippines Free Press, was arrested and imprisoned on the first week of Martial Law. Manila Times publisher Chino Roces and several journalists including Luis Beltran, Maximo Soliven, Amando Doronila, and Juan Mercado were also arrested. ABS-CBN owner, Eugenio Lopez Jr, was also arrested and imprisoned in Fort Bonifacio.
Thousands of journalists, editors, radio and television personnel were harassed, arrested, and thrown into jail without due process.
Silencing the media now:
Relentless attacks against press freedom in the Philippines persist, as seen in the ABS-CBN shutdown and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s order to shutdown Rappler.
The National Telecommunications Commission ordered to block 26 media and civil society websites, including Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly, allegedly “affiliated to and are supporting” the Communist Party of the Philippines.
At least 195 journalists have been killed since 1986, based on data from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.
#SaysayNgKasaysayan #NowYouKnow #FactsFirstPH