Court denies TRO petition versus NTC memo banning Bulatlat

Editor hopeful ‘damaging order’ will be eventually nullified

A Quezon City Court denied the petition of an alternative news outfit for a temporary restraining order (TRO) on the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) memorandum to internet service providers to ban its website, along with dozen others.

In an order issued on June 13, Quezon City Regional Trial Court Branch 306 said that’s website was accessed during the hearing on the same day, prompting defense counsel Ferdinand Topacio to say there is no ground for issuing a temporary restraining order.

Presiding Judge Dolly Rose Bolante-Prado said that the requisites for the issuance of a TRO are not present in the case, noting that Bulatlat is still able to publish news and commentaries.

“Consequently, there is no irreparable damage, as defined by law, to speak of. The plaintiff’s counsel’s claim that the number of’s visitors was reduced, is of no moment,” Bolante-Prado’s two-page order reads.

“The inconvenience, if any, that was caused by the questioned Memorandum to the plaintiff is  irrelevant. What is clear is that, as revealed today, can still publish online and is accessible to its audience,” it added.

Bulatlat managing editor Ronalyn Olea said they remain hopeful that the NTC memorandum would eventually be nullified by the Court.

“We are saddened by the denial of our prayer for TRO versus NTC memo but still hopeful that the Court will eventually rule in favor of press freedom and the people’s right to information,” Olea said.


The Court has given both petitioner and the defense until July 18 to submit their memoranda on the petition for nullification of the NTC order.

 “The NTC memo has caused irreparable damage to our Constitutional rights since our website remains inaccessible to significant segments of our audiences. The fact remains that Bulatlat has been labelled as affiliated or supportive of alleged terrorist groups without any evidence. The NTC memorandum constitutes content-based censorship,” Olea added. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

NUJP condemns harassment of Gumaca radio station

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns the harassment being perpetrated by Gumaca Quezon Mayor Erwin Caralian and his brother, Vice Mayor El Chor Caralian against Radyo Natin Gumaca.

Radyo Natin Operations Manager Mitch Hernando complains that despite having complied with all the necessary papers, the station is being denied renewal of the Mayor’s permit until now.  She added the duo have also made it hard for the station to secure a business permit for several years in the past. 

But this year, Hernando said the Mayor even went to the extent of trying to conspire with the National Telecommunications Commission in harassing the radio station.

Hernando said the station’s mother network, MBC, had told her Tuesday, March 12, that Mayor Caralian was at the NTC, alleging that Radyo Natin is operating illegally, and wanted the station closed down.

​Two days after, on Thursday, representatives from the NTC, Business Permit and Licensing Office and the Treasury Department indeed came to the station to “inspect.”  After the inspection, however, Hernando claims she received assurance from the NTC representative that the station will not be shut  down.

NTC inspects RN-Gumaca’s registration papers. (Photo from Radyo Natin-Gumaca’s Facebook page)

This is plain harassment meant to intimidate the station and force it to just toe the line.

Media groups have recorded at least 99 cases of attacks and threats against the press during the first 22 months of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration.

The NUJP urges members of the media to resist these attacks on press freedom.

This we will say again and again, the independent Philippine press, the Filipino journalists and the freedom-loving Filipinos will make sure that such attacks will not succeed in silencing us.

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