Yesterday was the global celebration of World Press Freedom Day.
There is a need to actively defend press freedom.
Press freedom is not just for the press.
Press freedom is freedom for everyone.
If there is press freedom, the free flow of information is assured, and the people will be kept inform of the political developments in society.
If press freedom is suppressed, then the free flow of information is cut off.
There are many still who prefer to suppress press freedom.
Suppressing press freedoms means depriving the people obtaining vital information that is needed to maintain order in society.
If there is no order in society, it would adversely affect the people's welfare.
That is why everyone has a stake in the upholding the right to a free press.
Press freedom is a fundamental right.
It is always press freedom that is suppressed first by a regime that seeks to intill repression.
When President Marcos declared martial law, one of the very first freedoms he tok away from the people was press freedom.
He closed down all newspapers, and broadcast facilities nationwide.
He jailed the newsmen.
As a result, people were kept in the dark, depriving them of their right to know the truth.
The people were instead fed with government propaganda, even if this did not reflect the truth about what was happening.
As a result, the Philippines sank to the dark ages, and was easily overtaken by its neighbors in southeast asia like Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Thailand.
In the meantime, the rulers looted the national coffers, leaving the millions of Filipinos poor and hungry.
We do not want to go back to this dark period of untruths and repression.
Therefore, it is important that press freedom must always be upheld.
Defend it while it exists.
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