The College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) denounces the continuous surveillance, harassment and investigation of state security forces on campus journalists and its member publications and officers.
At 11:50 am today, March 31, two police officers from the Pangasinan Police Provincial Office went to Pangasinan State University (PSU) to check if the journalism forum of CAST Chronicle (CC), its official publication, was organized by the Guild.
The police officers went to CC’s event and mistook it as a Pangasinan-wide student press convention when it was only an event of CC for PSU’s students. One police officer is identified as Mr. Montemayor.
Jericho Samson, editor in chief of CC and CEGP’s Ilocos Chairperson, told the police officers that they organized the event themselves. Samson was also continuously asked about CEGP and its events.
Asked about their sudden presence at CC’s event, the police officers told Samson that if this was CEGP’s event, they will provide security for the students.
The police officers consequently said that they will go to their event even without consent for “security” reasons. Also, the police officers asked whether the Guild has recently held an event in Pangasinan.
Last March 17 and 23, state security forces have been harassing and conducting surveillance on our campus press organization’s officers and member publications in Bicol. On March 23, the police officers handed down a regional memo to the administrators of Baao Community College in Camarines Sur, barring its students to join the Guild’s activities.
The surveillance of state security forces this month unmasks Oplan Kapayapaan, the government’s “blue print” of military operations in President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, as a fascist counterinsurgency scheme which now targets student journalists. Campus journalists are now subject to its triad operation, specifically psywar and intelligence, designed by the fascist development support and security plan.
Duterte, as commander in chief, should not only take notice and order an investigation on the harassment of the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines on campus journalists, but should also end these calibrated attacks to the Filipino people.
The continuous investigation and scrutiny shows how systematic the attack of the state is in its goal to repress campus press all over the country.
Given the fascist characteristic of the state, it incessantly hammers and silences the campus press who defend the people’s democratic rights and who serve as a political force to fight against the government’s anti-people policies.
The Guild will not be defied by the calibrated fascist attacks of the state in its attempt to intimidate and sow fear among its member publications and officers.
CEGP will maintain its advocacy and orientation as a patriotic and democratic alliance of tertiary publications and will always be at the frontline in every fight of the Filipino people for their democratic interests.
We call on our fellow campus journalists, members of the media, and other groups for the advancement of people’s rights and welfare to unite our ranks and deplore these actions of the state aimed at silencing critics of the state.