Student journalists vow to fight for freedom ‘online and offline’

Dec. 01, 2012

Press release
30 November 2012

On Bonifacio’s 149th birthday:
Student journalists vow to fight for freedom ‘online and offline’

Student publications and netizens led by the College Editors Guild of the Philippines-Southern Tagalog launched an online campaign this week to honor Andres Bonifacio’s 149th birth anniversary and as a form of protest to the Cybercrime Prevention Act which they say is an “insult to Bonifacio’s life and death.”

The campus journalists simultaneously changed their profile pictures in Facebook to Bonifacio along with a cover photo with the call: “There is no real freedom of expression without genuine freedom.”

Added to this, they also launched “Dakilang Supremo,” a call for contributions of poems and artworks depicting the relevance of Bonifacio’s plight in today’s time.

The campaign is an initial move by the student journalists to intensify their protests against the Cybercrime Prevention Act which was declared under Temporary Restraining Order by the Supreme Court last October but is set to be revived January next year.

Michael Alegre, Secretary General of CEGP Southern Tagalog slammed the Aquino administration’s inaction to junk the law which he said “reflects how truly deaf this government is even to the demands of Filipino netizens.”

Just last week, student journalists commemorated the third year of the Ampatuan Massacre, Alegre said that an integral part of their call for justice and to end impunity was ensuring that the rights of the Filipino people are never again trampled-upon by the state.  “We vow to become Bonifacio’s online and offline, because we know that this is the only way to ensure our rights as freedom-loving citizens,” he stressed.

Alegre reminded the contributions of and the need to continue Bonifacio’s struggle for genuine national democracy.  “Contrary to popular believe, Bonifacio was not only a revolutionary through his actions, but also a revolutionary through his thoughts and words embodied by his writings.  Through this, he was able to effectively convince his fellowmen to join the cause for national liberation,” he stressed referring to Bonifacio’s works such as “Pag-ibig sa Tinubuang Lupa” and “Ang Dapat Mabatid ng mga Tagalog.”

In connection, student publications around the country are currently facing campus press freedom violations highlighted by campus militarization, most recent of which is the red-baiting of youth leaders in Palawan State University through a forum conducted by the Armed Forces of the Philippines last November  19.  CEGP- Southern Tagalog is also campaigning for the re-establishment of the official student publication of PUP-Lopez in Quezon which was closed down due to military intervention in 2008.

“Fighting to protect our freedom is the golden rule that Bonifacio has instilled for every generation of the youth.  We as pillars of the alternative press will see to it that the countless lives our heroes have sacrificed will not end in vain,” Alegre said.

For reference:
Michael Alegre, 0916-4848-492
College Editors Guild of the Philippines – Southern Tagalog Chapter

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