If you want to rip the heart out of a democracy, you go after the facts. That's what modern authoritarians do. You lie. All the time. Then, you say it's your opponents and the journalists who lie.
Don't be afraid - if you don't exercise your rights, you will lose them.
Press freedom is the foundation of the rights of all Filipinos to the truth.
I don't think we have wrapped our heads around how much technology has allowed the manipulation of individuals and democracies.
Embrace your fear. Imagine what you're most afraid of, touch it and hold it so that you rob it of its power.
Press freedom is not just about journalists, right? It's not just about us, it's not just about me, it's not just about Rappler. Press freedom is... the foundation of every single right of every single Filipino to the truth, so that we can hold the powerful to account.
I would give back every single award to be able to actually do our jobs as journalists without this kind of harassment.
If you can make people believe lies are the facts, then you can control them.
Without facts you can't have truth.
Any journalist who asked critical questions, anyone on social media who questioned about the extrajudicial killings was bombarded with abuse, threats of violence death threats from trolls and bots and these fake Facebook accounts.
The social media platforms have taken over the distribution of news globally. They treat a lie the same way you would treat a fact.
Let me go back to a fundamental thing we all used to agree on: information is power. That's why we became journalists in the first place.
In a war zone you know exactly where the threats are coming from. I plan my way in and we plan our way out and you're there for a limited period of time.
I'm not a politician; I'm a journalist.
Journalism has a check-and-balance effect to those in power, and those in power submitted themselves to it.
Then there is my country, the Philippines. President Rodrigo Duterte placed most of the country under a lockdown on the ides of March. Surrounded by men in uniform, he cut public transportation and talked about home quarantine, checkpoints and curfews, but said little about the virus or economic aid for those in need.
All around the world, leaders are gaining more power. That's what this pandemic demands: a coordinated whole-of-nation approach with a powerful conductor at its center.
If the social media platforms don't take the gatekeeping seriously they will kill the public sphere. If we don't get this right in 2020 you can open a decade or longer of a descent into fascism. And it will be global because platforms are global.
The difference between Rappler and other newsgroups in the Philippines is that journalists control Rappler both editorially and commercially. We make decisions that are bad for business but protect the public sphere.
I always felt that I wasn't as American as Americans and then I realised when I got back to the Philippines that I was not Filipino.