August 28, 2012
As of now, the libel case against Jesusa Paquibot, former Editor-in-Chief (EIC) of the UP Baguio Outcrop is put into halt as it awaits the next scheduled hearing which will be on the third of September 2012. In this hearing, the defense will get the turn to present its witnesses.
At this stage of the legal battle faced by one of the members of the Guild in her work as a campus journalist, CEGP Baguio-Benguet maintains its support to the former Outcrop EIC. We continue our call to decriminalize libel as this criminal case proves to be commonly used by powers-that-be to stifle the journalistic practice of the mainstream, local and campus press alike. We echo the call of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines to diminish the status of libel as a case from the present criminal to a civil one. We acknowledge the importance of having a libel case that can contribute in guarding against the irresponsible practice of journalism but this must not be a criminal case. We believe that our journalists, from mainstream to campus, do not play with the press freedom attributed to them. Moreover, we believe that the public’s right to know is much more important to our journalists for them to practice their profession responsibly and NOT “abuse” their press freedom as often charged against them.
We continue egging on our fellow members of the campus press and of the mainstream media to show their support for a fellow journalists’ battle. We reiterate that taken on a larger level, this is not just the battle of Paquibot; this is also the battle of the entire press for their press freedom and most importantly, a battle of the entire populace for their right to know.
UPHOLD CAMPUS PRESS FREEDOM!
College Editor’s Guild of the Philippines Baguio-Benguet
For related articles on the Decriminalization of Libel, check out these links: