On the UST administration’s censorship of TomasinoWeb

The 38th anniversary of the ouster of a tyrant who snuffed out independent media is just around the corner, but the University of Sto. Tomas (UST) appears to still operate under a shadow of martial rule.

We maintain: There was absolutely nothing wrong about the 7-Eleven photo in question. If it says anything, in fact, it illustrates the creative spirit of student journalists whom the UST administration is trying to silence.

We vehemently condemn the UST administration for pulling off some of the dirtiest tricks in the playbook of censorship for the flimsiest of contexts — and setting the most dangerous of precedents in the process.

This entire controversy speaks more about the repressive character of the UST administration. But calling their actions merely repressive would be an understatement: The Office of Student Affairs’ strong-arm tactics smack Marcosian not only in its repressive character, but also in its elitism.

Was being compared to the segments of the Filipino working class truly so offensive it had to be taken down by coercion if necessary? Does TomasinoWeb need to toe an Imeldific, whitewashed view of our society?

During the Marcos dictatorship, the student press at UST and beyond bore the heaviest brunt of state censorship. Regrettably, the UST administration was once complicit in the dictator’s multifaceted muzzling of free expression. It now plays the same nefarious role again.

We unequivocally stand with TomasinoWeb. We also vow to continue standing with all student journalists who face peril from school administrations beholden to suppression of discourse.

Defending press freedom is not only a slogan for us. It is an ideal we will fight as long as our colleagues stand in the line of fire in carrying out our noble duty to the public we serve.


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