MANILA — Journalists here condemned tagging of their group as “communist front” and has left their hundreds of members vulnerable to “State repressive actions”, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) announced Wednesday.
In a similar incident, NUJP denounced the mysterious closure of progressive websites of Bulatlat and Kodao on the same day, December 26, marking the 50th founding anniversary of the underground Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
This came about when on Wednesday (December 26, 2018), several news outfits carried stories about a certain Mario Ludades, who claims to be a former ranking officer and founder of the CPP, accusing NUJP of being one of the supposed “legal fronts” of the revolutionary movement.
On the same day, the alternative media outfits Bulatlat and Kodao – which both house NUJP chapters – were taken down almost simultaneously before noon.
“That these assaults on freedom of the press and of free expression took place on the 50th founding anniversary of the CPP is clearly no coincidence,” NUJP said in a statement released to the media late afternoon.
NUJP reminded the public that this is not the first time the NUJP has been the target of such lies.
“The organization was also one of those identified as “enemies of the state” in the PowerPoint presentation “Knowing the Enemy” created in 2005 by the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and which the military showed in schools and other venues,” NUJP recalled.
“In the case of Ludades, who identifies himself as spokesman of the “No to Communist Terrorist Group Coalition” and an indigenous people’s leader in the Cordillera region, it does not take rocket science to guess who is behind him and the lies he spouts,” NUJP observed.
But,NUJP cautioned: “The charge of being a “legal front” of the communists is so absurd it is tempting to dismiss it outright. Nevertheless, we are treating it seriously because it puts the organization, its officers and members in potential risk.”
On the other hand, the takedowns of Bulatlat and Kodao, which state security forces have also time and again accused of links to the revolutionary underground, bear similar signs as the attack that led to the shutting down of the NUJP in 2016. [BicolToday.com]