Archive for January, 2012

Outcrop Under Siege and the Call for Continuing Assertion of our Campus Press Freedom

Press Statement

January 19, 2012

Once again, our campus press freedom is under attack.

The Editor-in-chief of UP Baguio Outcrop, along with the rest of the UP Baguio Outcrop staff has recently been charged with libel by a faculty member of UP Baguio. This comes after a lampoon article was written on the July 2011 issue of Outcrop about someone who is so sensitive to noise. The article did not mention any real name and make any false claim about the person being talked about.

In line with this, we are asking for your support as the campus press freedom of one of our fellow-guilder and member publication is being assaulted. Not a few times that as campus journalists, our lampoon publications have been used against us by those who felt that they were “attacked” by our column entries.  They bypass the fact that lampoon writing is a legitimate form by which the campus journalists satirically tackle the pertinent issues concerning the students. More importantly, we see this tactic as yet another manifestation of the larger anti-student scheme which is prevalent in the repressive atmosphere of educational institutions.

On a broader level, it has been a long campaign of the mainstream media to decriminalize libel which is also usually used against them by persons of authority and power whenever they felt “offended” or “disgraced” by certain articles written about them. Just like the repression experienced by campus journalists, libel being a criminal case is usually being used as a threat to the press freedom of mainstream media. This recent case only proves that we are constantly under the threat and intimidation of powers-that-be who seeks to put a limitation on our freedom of expression as members of the press. Given our capability to give an acute analysis and encompassing coverage of the relevant, daily events, and interrogate the status quo, it is inevitable that those who cling to and benefit from the status quo are unsettled as we strive for the expression of truth and the exposure of the flaws of the present scheme of things.

These are the times that manifest the difficult conditions where we, campus journalists, operate. These are conditions rife with deceit, hypocrisy and lack of fairness. These are conditions that once again, call on all of us to keep asserting our rights and continue making our voices be heard in the midst of harassment, inequality and deception.






Youth groups: Who’s saving the environment? Definitely not SM

Pooled Press Statement:

“That welcoming slogan proudly declaring Baguio City as the greenest city in the country not just outdated, it is hypocritical anymore. In the light of the pressing environmental concerns like man-made disasters and climate change, we need more trees here in the city,” says Rae Gaoat of Anakbayan Metro Baguio.
This is in reaction to SM Baguio’s expansion by building parking areas and other establishments on top, planning cut 172 trees in the process. “Aquino’s total log ban is lie. There are so many exemptions to the rule, like permits and exemptions being released to mining companies, real estate companies and development corporations like SM,” adds Ivan Labayne of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines.
More importantly, this plan only shows how far the greed of the big businesses has gone in order to serve their interests. Even at the expense of the interests and welfare of the majority, businesses like SM are unflinching and cannot be deterred in pursuit of greater financial profit. “In an attempt to appear “considerate” in public, SM even tries to fool us in saying that the trees will be earth balled and will be transferred in the hopes of silencing the protest,” adds Gaoat.
Worse, even the current administration sanctions this one-sided step and seems to refuse in protecting the interests of the larger population. President Aquino along with city officials themselves shows no disapproval of this plan and the DENR issued the permit for the implementation.
“This only shows at whose side the current administration is – it is on the side of the few elite businessmen and oligarchs and not the greater part of the population,” says Labayne.
 With this, we intend to initiate and participate in all actions protecting against this ruthless assault to the environment and the welfare of the people. All at once, this is a fight for saving our environment, a fight against the big businesses’ pursuit of profit at our expense and a call to collectively assert our demands and interests.
For reference:
Rae Gaoat, Anakbayan Metro Baguio, 09152219877
Ivan Labayne, CEGP Baguio-Benguet, 09268105915

Campus journalists condemn murder of editor from GenSan: ‘Aquino must take concrete actions in ending human rights violations’

College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) urged the Aquino administration to “take concrete actions” in resolving the cases of journalist killings in the country, as the death toll rises to 10 with the murder of Christopher Guarin, an editor of the newspaper Tatak at General Santos City, Mindanao.

Guarin was shot dead by two men while he was driving with his wife and daughter last Tuesday 10pm. He had received several death threats prior to the incident.

Guarin is the tenth journalist killed under the Aquino administration, and the eighty-sixth since Cory Aquino’s term.

“2012 opens with another case of extrajudicial killing. It is clear to us that the state doesn’t have serious plans in resolving cases of human rights violations,” said Pauline Gidget Estella, Deputy Secretary General of CEGP, the widest alliance of student publications in the country. “As future media practitioners, we condemn the incompetence, if not deliberate lack of action, in this issue of life and death.”

“Nobody has been held accountable for the many cases of extrajudicial killings under the term of Gloria Arroyo, from which Aquino has been trying hard to distinguish himself,” she added.

“In Aquino’s speeches from his electoral platform to his state of the nation address, he gave no definite plans in delivering justice for the victims of extrajudicial killings. In fact, during the first months of his term, the death toll has climbed to around 40,” Estella explained, adding that the authorities must jail not only the triggermen but more importantly, the masterminds of extrajudicial killings.

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