Ateneo's Political Science, Communication departments 'strongly condemn' Ressa's conviction

Ateneo's Political Science, Communication departments 'strongly condemn' Ressa's conviction

The Departments of Communication and Political Science of the Ateneo de Manila University - Loyola Schools made a joint statement regarding the conviction of Rappler’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder and its former reporter Reynaldo Santos, Jr.
The joint statement calls the conviction of journalist and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa for cyber libel was referred to as "the Duterte administration's latest attempt to dismantle the checks and balances of a democratic society."

Faculty of both departments, led by Ateneo's School of Social Sciences dean Fernando Aldaba, said they "strongly condemn" the conviction of bothis also urging its students to take a similar stance on the matter.
(Photo credit to owner)

"Coming just six weeks after the closure of ABS-CBN, the country's largest network, the verdict is part of a long-standing, concerted effort to go after the administration's most ardent and public critics. This sends a chilling message to all our citizens: the Duterte administration offers no safe harbor for those who criticize it," read the joint statement.
(from Ateneo Facebook account)

"Instead of focusing its efforts on combating COVID-19 and responding to the economic hardships the pandemic has brought about, this administration uses its resources to target every group and institution, from the opposition, courts, civil society, constitutional commissions, to the media, that were designed and created to hold those in power accountable to the people," it added.

Reiterating their commitment to "the formation of ethical, critical, and competent students," the two departments hoped that Ateneans will "condemn the disregard for the deepening of our democratic institutions in favor of the short-term gains of power," and instead "consciously choose to become leaders that build free and democratic societies."

(from Ateneo Facebook account)

"We must defend press freedom. We must defend Philippine democracy," it ended.

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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