Thursday, December 28, 2006

Wake up and smell the free and critical press

Today, the press proudly says to First Gentleman Mike Arroyo: Enough!

From Freedom Watch:

Fighting Back

Journalists who are filing today a class action suit on behalf of the Philippine press against presidential spouse Jose Miguel Arroyo have just released a pooled editorial, criticizing Arroyo's suits as having an effect on press freedoom.

"The class action suit does not dispute the right of Mr. Arroyo to file libel charges against anyone he believes has wronged him through a libelous imputation. Journalists are also aware that libel suits are part of the media territory," the editorial stated. "But the sheer number of suits he has filed (10 against 45 respondents) suggests that these are primarily intended to intimidate the press and silence criticism."

The editorial was prepared by the journalists who are set to file the class action suit, 23 of which have been sued for libel by Mr. Arroyo. Other journalists and media organizations, such as the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility and the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, joined as petitioners to the suit.

Click here to read the editorial.

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