Kodao’s Villanueva elected to media group’s regional board
Community broadcasters in the Asia Pacific region called on the Philippine government to drop its prosecution against Filipino colleague Frenchie Mae Cumpio, calling charges against her “trumped-up.”
In its Bangkok Declaration, the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters-Asia Pacific (French: Association Mondiale Des Radiodiffuseurs Communautaires,AMARC-AP) further said the Philippine government must release Cumpio from her “unjust imprisonment” of more than three years.
“We are resolved to call on the Republic of the Philippines to drop all trumped-up charges against our young colleague Frenchie Mae Cumpio and immediately release her from unjust imprisonment,” AMARC-AP said.
AMARC-AP has previously denounced Cumpio’s arrest on February 7, 2020 on allegations of illegal possession of firearms and explosives and has called on the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression Irene Khan to investigate when she officially visits the Philippines next January.
Other international media organizations, such as the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists and the International Association of Women in Radio and Television have also reported about Cumpio’s arrest and ongoing trial.
Cumpio was an active broadcaster of Aksyon Radyo-Tacloban DYVL 819 KHz and was training to become station manager of the prospective disaster preparedness station Radyo Tacloban when arrested.
She was also executive director and editor of alternative media outfit Eastern Vista after her stint as a campus journalist with the University of the Philippines (UP)-Tacloban student publication UP Vista.
Cumpio was only 20 years old upon arrest.
‘Stop red-tagging independent media’
Attended by 153 delegates from 15 Asia Pacific countries at Thailand’s Thammasat University, the 5th Regional Assembly of the region’s biggest media group likewise urged the Philippine government to resolve violations on press freedom in the Philippines.
“We likewise urge the Philippine government to bring justice to all victims of media killings as well as stop its red-tagging activities and other forms of persecution against independent media to allow them, including community broadcasting, to exist and operate freely,” its declaration said.
The declaration was unanimously adopted last October 30, three days before the first death anniversary of broadcaster Percival “Percy Lapid” Mabasa, the second media killing victim under the Ferdinand Marcos Jr. administration.
The AMARC-AP assembly also unanimously voted Kodao reporter and People’s Alternative Media Network chairperson Raymund Villanueva as member of the group’s regional board.
Villanueva shall serve as treasurer and AMARC-AP regional executive committee member in the next four years. #