We in the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines link arms with our colleagues everywhere today to mark World Press Freedom Day.
We’re commemorating it at a time when governments have sought to paint the free press as enemies of states to muzzle us and escape accountability.
This is not a time to bend and shrink. Born during the Marcos dictatorship, FOCAP emerged to fight blatant media censorship and harassment and serve as a force for truth in one of the country’s darkest eras.
Today’s tools for media repression may be different, but FOCAP as always remains committed to speaking truth to power fearlessly and without compromises.
As the country’s fourth estate and as one of the world’s independent watchdogs, we believe journalists have a critical duty to hold power to account and to uphold democracy at all times, no matter how difficult.
More than ever, it is a time to close ranks because truth is the bedrock of everything we hold dear as a country and people. When we lose our freedom to report the truth, everyone loses. We lose our dignity. We lose our soul.