Cebu Citizens-Press Council

Being accountable comes with being free

Shackled press in the time of Napoleon Rama

January 11th, 2016 · 1 Comment

Statement of Cebu Citizens-Press Council 
on the death of Napoleon Rama

Jan. 11, 2016

In the Jan. 20, 1971 issue of “Philippines Free Press,” in his article “Will There Be Martial Law?” Napoleon G. Rama doubted if Ferdinand Marcos would declare military rule. Marcos, Rama wrote, must have the “indubitable loyalty” of the armed forces and “a substantial popular support,” the kind given to Hitler and Mussolini. Marcos was “not quite sure” if he would get that.

When later Marcos did declare martial law, Rama was among the journalists arrested and jailed. His writings in the “Free Press” put him in the list of “actual and potential threats to the state,” along with such Cebuano colleagues as Juan Mercado who also was based in Manila and Resil Mojares who wrote in Cebu.

They were journalists in that dangerous time. Martial law has since been a constant reminder of how a free and active press could be silenced or fettered.

Pachico A. Seares
Executive Director

Tags: CCPC Papers and Resolutions