I would like to congratulate Miss Jover Laurio for having been awarded yet again by Deutsche Welle as one of its ‘Champions of Free Speech’ in celebration of World Press Freedom Day 2019. Her invaluable contribution in debunking the lies constantly peddled by Duterte’s propaganda machine is vital in keeping a balanced political discourse amidst rising pressures from the government to indict and arrest social-media influencers critical of the Duterte regime.

Hi, I am Jover, a blogger, an ordinary citizen, and an advocate of freedom of speech and the press in the Philippines.

An unrestrained environment of expression is what keeps democracies alive. It pursues the truth, it stands up to power, and it exposes abuses against the oppressed, the powerless, and the vulnerable.

In the Philippines, the attacks on media practitioners and the proliferation of fake news prove one thing: a tyrannical government will always see free press and expression as enemies. As a person who’s been on the receiving end of the attacks, it takes courage and love for the country to continue fighting.

BUT I WILL.

As an advocate, I join the global community in the fight to protect free speech in all forms. I call for media institutions, working for and with the people, to choose truth over power, and to use their voices to speak for those who are silenced.

We will hold the line.”

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