De Lima lauds ex-Times editor Salvosa for standing up for truth, honesty


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has lauded former Manila Times Editor Felipe Salvosa II for standing up to truth and honesty when he resigned in protest to a story linking some media organizations to an alleged ouster plot against Mr. Duterte.

De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the present administration, considered Salvosa’s “tough decision” as a strong statement against Mr. Duterte’s drive to absolute power through fake news and political persecution.

“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,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 511.

“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,” she added.

Last April 24, Salvosa resigned from his post after Times owner and Chairman Emeritus Dante Ang published a story about an alleged “Oust Duterte” matrix tagging the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism, Vera Files, Rappler, and the National Union of People’s Lawyers as conspirators behind a plot to unseat the President.

The local newspaper’s front page, which showed a matrix purportedly sourced from the Office of the President, also linked the personalities connected in the said groups to the viral video “Ang Totoong Narco List” which linked the President’s family and friends to the illegal drug trade.

More than the resignation of Salvosa, the lady Senator from Bicol pointed out that the bigger issue is the Duterte administration’s clamp down on media institutions to coerce them into becoming its mouthpiece like the Manila Times.

“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,” said the former justice secretary.

“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,” she added.

De Lima said she hopes that the Filipino public will consider Salvosa’s resignation as an awakening that one cannot simply stand down and watch while Duterte and his paid troll army repress press freedom and the right of every citizen to information.

“Tulad po ni Ipe, manindigan po tayo para sa katotohanan sapagkat susi po ito sa pamamayani ng hustisya, kalayaan at kaunlaran sa ating bayan,” she said. De Lima has unfailingly called out on Mr. Duterte and his allies for spreading outright lies, disinformation, and crude remarks, especially against opposition members, several media outfits and personalities and religious leaders, among others.

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