DECLARATION | #UnblockTheTruth: Undo NTC Website Block Order

Altermidya Network is expressing its support for our team of Bulatlat members by filing a petition today, July 8, to reverse the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) order blocking its news sites as well as Pinoy Weekly, Arkibong Bayan and 25 other websites.

The order follows a request by former national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon who called on the NTC to order internet service providers to block access to websites it deems affiliated with the Communist Party of the Philippines ( CPP) and the National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP), who have been designated as “terrorists” under the Anti-Terrorism Act.

The CNT’s order is an excess of its authority and shows the government’s blatant disregard for due process. No notice or even a copy of the CNT’s order was given to the parties concerned.

Additionally, the consequence of being designated as a “terrorist organization” under the Anti-Terrorism Act is the freezing of the organization’s bank accounts. Nowhere in said law does it say that government agencies can instantly block the websites of designated organizations – how much more those groups that are perceived as supporters?

Clearly, the CNT’s order is a prior restriction and violation of the people’s right to access information – a constitutional right that is the hallmark of any democracy.

Yet the demolition of constitutional rights does not stop there. In a vibrant democracy, even the beliefs, opinions, and writings of opposition groups—even revolutionary organizations—should be freely available to anyone who wishes to access them.

The alternative media community expects the court to see these valid arguments and immediately rescind NTC’s baseless and blatantly illegal order. We remain relentless in our call:

#UnblockTheTruth
#LetThePeopleKnow
#DefendPressFreedom

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