Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on the Resignation of Felipe Salvosa, Manila Times editor

Felipe "Ipe" Salvosa's resignation from the Manila Times is proof that even in the darkest of times, when evil and malice reign, there will always be individuals who will stand up for truth and honesty. His tough decision is a strong statement against Duterte's drive to absolute power through fake news and political persecution.

Patunay lamang si Ginoong Salvosa na meron pa ring mga mamamahayag na kayang manindigan at ipagtatanggol ang integridad ng kanilang propesyon sa gitna ng mga pananakot o di kaya'y alok na yaman at kapangyarihan.

But Ipe's resignation does not end there. The bigger issue is the Duterte regime's clamp down on media institutions to coerce them into becoming its mouthpiece. This sinister plan destroys the wall between fake news or propaganda and legitimate news outfits, for the public to be fed with news filtered and generated by the ilk of the President.

Any resistance to be part of this propaganda machine has severe repercussions. We have seen how Maria Ressa and Rappler have been harassed until now. The "Oust Duterte Matrix" was also a serious warning against those who dare investigate the President and his family. Critical media institutions whose franchises are up for renewal should also expect the worst.

Media has been dubbed as the Fourth Estate because of its integral role as the purveyor of truth and critical thinking which are crucial in the exercise of freedom and participatory governance.

They say journalism is literature in a hurry; others say it is history on the run. On both things, ethical journalism serves a fundamental purpose in the life of our nation. That's why a demagogue like Duterte is at strife with brave journalists who speak truth to power.

We simply cannot stand down and watch while Duterte and his troll army sabotage and repress press freedom and the right of every citizen to information.

As Maria Ressa and Rappler aptly put it, "we must hold the line." Tulad po ni Ipe, manindigan po tayo para sa katotohanan sapagkat susi po ito sa pamamayani ng hustisya, kalayaan at kaunlaran sa ating bayan.

Source: Senate of the Philippines