Philippines: court reinstates access to media site 

  • 22 Aug 2022

A Quezon City Court has ordered restrictions on access to a media site be lifted. 

The National Union of Journalists joins the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) in welcoming a court decision to reinstate access to the independent media website Bulatlat. 

In June, the NUJ condemned plans to close the site following false accusations of its links to terrorist groups. The website reported a 44 per cent reduction in monthly visits following the block imposed without prior notice. 

A two month-long battle with the National Telecommunication Commission concluded with a court decision citing Bulatlat’s “clear and unmistakable” right to protection under freedom of speech within the country’s constitution. 

National Security advisor Hermogenes Esperon Jr. ordered the NTC to block access to 27 websites in the final months of Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency, raising concerns about freedom of expression rights within the Philippines. 

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines noted developments as "an initial victory for press freedom, and as proof that collective action can push back against attacks on independent media."


The IFJ said:

"Restricting access to independent digital media organisations violates the fundamental rights to press freedom and freedom of expression enshrined in the Philippines’ constitution. The IFJ welcomes the decision of the Quezon City court and urges the authorities of the Philippines to cease all forms of censorship and legal harassment of independent media.”

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