'Barefaced censorship': CPP condemns blocking of websites

Jauhn Etienne Villaruel, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 23 2022 03:06 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2022 03:21 AM

Members of the Communist Party of the Philippines conduct a post-celebration of its 49th founding anniversary, Dec. 31, 2017. Mark Saludes, ABS-CBN News/File
Members of the Communist Party of the Philippines conduct a post-celebration of its 49th founding anniversary, Dec. 31, 2017. Mark Saludes, ABS-CBN News/File

MANILA — The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) on Wednesday labelled as "barefaced censorship" the blocking of its websites initiated by the National Security Council (NSC). 

In a memorandum earlier this month, the NSC sought to ban 26 websites for allegedly being "affiliated" and "supportive" of the CPP, which the council designated as a "terrorist organization." 

But according to CPP spokesperson Marco Valbuena, only 7 of those sites were officially linked to the group and National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP).

"[This] internet ban exposes the intolerance of the militarist zealots in power and how they use 'national security' and 'anti-terrorism' as pretext to clamp down on basic people's freedom," Valbuena said in a statement. 

"It is nothing but barefaced censorship," he added. 

Valbuena also described it as a "desperate move to censor online criticism and dissent" and "suppress progressive, patriotic, and revolutionary journalism and literature that exposes the ills of the ruling system." 

The blocked websites included alternative news sites Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly, as well as those of organizations such as Pamalakaya, UMA, and Amihan. 


Malacañang said the parties whose websites were blocked could exhaust the available legal means. 

"The recent move of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) to block certain websites is upon the request of the National Security Council in performance of its mandate," said acting Palace spokesperson Martin Andanar. 

"Legal remedies are available to any party, including online media outfit Bulatlat, affected by this action," he said in a statement. 
 
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