DILG supports UE editor’s right to free speech; slams CEGP, Karapatan for again involving the government in the issue
The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) today said that the University of the East (UE) campus publication editor who was allegedly threatened with a cyber libel case by his high school teachers “is entitled to free speech” as it slams two Leftist organizations for involving the national government in what is entirely a private matter.
DILG Undersecretary and Spokesperson Jonathan E. Malaya today said that Joshua Molo, editor-in-chief of the UE Dawn, did not err when he expressed his personal opinion against the government’s handling of the Covid-19 crisis on Facebook. What is unacceptable and downright foul, according to Malaya, is how the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) and Karapatan suddenly blamed the national government in an issue where it had no involvement whatsoever.
“The DILG supports the right of Filipinos to free expression, that’s a fundamental human right that is protected by the Constitution. But we cannot understand why CEGP and Karapatan are again accusing the national government of allegedly suppressing the rights of Molo. The government was never involved here. It was Molo’s high school teachers who allegedly pressured him and not the government,” he said.
He said that what these Leftist organizations has done is fake news. “This is clearly another way of misinformation to malign and blame everything on the government where we should instead be working together to fight the common enemy, the Coronavirus,” said Malaya.
“Halatang-halata na nakikisawsaw lamang sila sa isyung ito as they are wont to do in order to pounce on every opportunity to discredit the government,” he added.
Based on reports, Molo was allegedly compelled to issue a public apology following a complaint filed by his former high school teachers concerning a series of heated exchanges on a social media platform. The teacher allegedly threatened to file a cyber libel case against the student.
The story of the UE college editor came out in the media and the CEGP and Karapatan, in a statement, urged the government to focus on COVID-19 concerns “instead of filing nonsensical criminal charges.”
Malaya said that the government has no intention to file cases because it respects the rights of Molo to express his opinion for or against the government. “Yung high school teacher ni Molo ang nag-complain and the government has nothing to do with it,” he pointed out, addressing the CEGP.
“The national government is hell-bent in to containing this virus, that’s what we are doing and I suggest to the CEGP and Karapatan to instead help the government. Baka mayroon kayong brilliant idea, let us hear it kaysa naman lagi ninyo na lang kaming tinitira. Baka this time gusto ninyo naman tumulong,” said Malaya.