Makabayan Lawmakers File Request for Resolution to Investigate Blocking of Bulatlat and 26 Websites

The blocking of websites occurred against the background of incessant red tagging.


MANILA — Progressive lawmakers are seeking to investigate the government agencies behind the order to block online alternative news Bulatlat and 26 other websites.

“What the CNT and the National Security Council have done is blatant red labeling, linking these organizations to the communist movement. It is also misinformation, given that Esperon and the agencies maliciously misrepresent progressive media, even religious media, are part of, support and are connected to the armed struggle,” the resolution reads.

ACT teachers’ representative France Castro, Women’s Party representative Gabriela Arlene Brosas and Kabataan representative Raoul Manuel drafted the resolution.

According to House Resolution No. 49, former national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr. did not submit evidence in his “ratified” blocking orders to the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) in June.

“…despite the weight of Esperon’s accusation and its ramifications, Bulatlat and the rest of the other blocked websites have not been notified or heard in any trial or other proceeding by the NTC and NSC,” reads also the resolution.

The resolution states that the blocking of websites has no legal basis as no decree or law has been passed to give NTC the power to block websites without a court order and is a blatant red flag.

He added that a hearing on the matter at the Human Rights Committee and the House Public Information Committee was needed, as some of the blocked websites are progressive groups and media like Bulatlat and Pinoy Weekly. .

“Such acts should not be committed again as long as we remain in a democracy,” the resolution added.

Bulatlat challenged the measure at RTC Branch 306 in Quezon City, but was denied a temporary restraining order against the NTC’s order.

The next hearing is scheduled for August 2. (JJE,RVO)