Daily Tribune closed down

The Daily Tribune newspaper was raided and shut down today. Identified as having a pro-Estrada editorial position, the government was clearly after making sure it didn’t come out with a devastating issue on Friday’s events.

I share in this statement from Newsbreak:

Press Statement

Twenty years ago, we regained our freedom of the press. Today, we
stand the risk of losing it.

It is ironic that on the day we celebrate people power, a glorious
and festive moment in our history, we are reminded that our freedoms are
fragile. They can easily be taken away.

We view the raid on Tribune, an opposition newspaper, with alarm.
It appears to signal the start of a crackdown on media organizations.

We have always believed that repression is never the answer to a
critical press. We remind the authorities that a free press is a
cornerstone of a democracy. Without it, we cannot claim to be a
democratic country.

Marites Danguilan Vitug
Editor in Chief
Newsbreak Magazine
Tel 687-5523/25
E-mail: [email protected]
Cell phone 0918-9126615

And so, the crackdown continues.

I seriously propose that the BLAWggers start preparing a common position for bloggers who find themselves shut down for content found offensive by the government. I will give an example of the kind of harassment to expect: one I.T. professional has been falsely rumored to be behind fugitive Nick Faeldon’s website. That government people spread the rumor,despite it’s not being true, suggests they’re out to damage the reputations of those they can, even if they don’t go after them legally. The experience of the PCIJ when it had an entry affected by a court ruling, also comes back to mind. Colleagues believe that for lack of an appropriate law, the internet, as far as free speech or content offensive to the government is concerned, can’t be touched. But the existence or lack of it, of a law, is no guarantee of protection.

For those who wonder why I’m so intransigent (besides my obvious interest as a writer), do read a column I wrote soon after my father’s death in 1998:

Dwindling fears

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    • nonongg on February 25, 2006 at 10:03 am

    I’m not an IT but I just hope there are back up servers and alternate access for pinoy bloggers as it may come to that. A mirror site may do(?). Keep the faith.

    • karl on February 25, 2006 at 10:12 am

    I read “dwindling fears”….

    I always wanted to know more about you MLQ3 and that article was more than enough help.

    As the first blog site I ever visited and commented on, I have learned a lot and still continue to learn …

    Thanks for welcoming us!
    Do Blog on!

    • Danielle on February 25, 2006 at 10:13 am

    I hope the writers of Tribune find other ways of communicating maybe thru the internet? Would another newspaper come to their aid and say you can write your views here?

  1. Madness is setting in; that’s what we should worry about. Stop this landslide, nah, that’s imposibble. Either she flees or be buried. She will turn to Martial Law without declaring it but it would just be a patch up job on a dam about to give way.

    • Karl on February 25, 2006 at 10:28 am

    PNP spokesperson can not give any info of what happenned(Tribune) as of 10:20 am

    What are they hiding?

    • slack on February 25, 2006 at 11:43 am

    scary. anything they don’t like is deemed seditous. PGMA is using the “state of emergency” declaration to pacify people

    • Monique on February 25, 2006 at 11:54 am

    It’s martial law all over again.

  2. Oh, boy.


    • andres on February 25, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    we must fight, and we will fight. the great thing with the internet is that you cannot filter completely. even china cannot do it. but we must not only fight in cyberspace. we must also do it in the streets. the press must not be contained. the lawyers will surely do their thing and battle in the courts. we must remember that the strength of this nation is best manifested in crisis times.

    • Simoun on February 25, 2006 at 6:49 pm

    alarming ! we’re more than willing to help journalists, freedom fighters and revolutionists have their own relatively untraceable website to avoid censorship & prosecution.

    • a de brux on February 25, 2006 at 6:49 pm


    This is a very sad day – the closing down of The Tribune.

    There is no honor in gagging and intimidating people because they happen to oppose Gloria’s views.

    • a de brux on February 25, 2006 at 7:01 pm


    And which broadsheet will be next? Malaya? And which journalists and opinion writers will be arrested without a warrant? Ellen Tordesillas, Lito Banayo, Ducky Paredes? or our very own MLQ3?

    Many European editors, journalists and cartoonists have faced serious threats and intimidation to their liberty and life but no government has closed down a newspaper because its views opposed those of a particular government’s.

    We believe in the freedom of the press, in the people’s freedom of speech and in the overall freedom of expression.

    • mlq3 on February 25, 2006 at 7:14 pm

    I heard today that the printers of Malaya experienced a visit from the police, but the cops said they were “just looking.”

    • a de brux on February 25, 2006 at 7:38 pm


    It will be interesting to read Max Soliven’s reaction in his column tomorrow on Gloria’s clamping down on the rights of a fellow columnist, Ninez Cacho, to air her views.

    He who has never forgiven Marcos for the dictator’s slight to his freedom of speech until he was liberated by Cory Aquino surely will come to Cacho’s defence.

    • a de brux on February 25, 2006 at 8:51 pm


    For info:

    BGen Danilo Lim was a member of PMA Class ‘77 but graduated from West Point in 1978.

    Lim, who was then a Philippine Army major, was also the leader of the military group that stormed Atrium in Makati during the 1989 coup d’etat against Cory Aquino.

    Lim is the first of his class to earn a star to become brigadier general. It was Gloria who approved the AFP Generals recommendation for him to have that star.

    It’s been confirmed by a reliable source that BGen Lim tried to persuade Gen Senga CSAFP to withdraw his support but that the latter refused.

    Lim is kept in his quarters for the moment and not detained in prison.

    There are still a few generals whose identity are not known to the public today who have seriously expressed their sympathy for Lim’s ideals.

    • a de brux on February 25, 2006 at 8:55 pm

    Correction: AFP BOARD OF GENERALS (recommended promotion of Lim to star rank).

    • a de brux on February 25, 2006 at 9:23 pm


    Palace spin that they foiled a coup d’état was preposterous and technically wrong!

    By tradition, coup d’état is the violent overthrow of the government launched by the military but which could be aided and abetted by civilian components of the Republic. To say that they foiled a coup d’etat means that the violent overthrow had been initiated by the military or a component of the military.

    Contrary to Palace spin and innuendoes, BGen Danilo Lim, when he approached CSAFP Senga to persuade him to withdraw his support was technically espousing mutiny and not a coup d’état in the same manner when Gloria and her husband had persuaded Gen Angie Reyes to commit mutiny by withdrawing their support for the Erap government.

    That the mutiny might have later on generated into a coup d’état is another matter but at the time Lim was arrested, technically, the act being committed by Lim was inciting to mutiny and not a coup d’état. Palace spin that they FOILED A COUP D’ETAT is absolute nonsense! There was no physical evidence that Lim had launched a violent assault on Gloria’s government so, how could they foil something that had not even started?

    That there may be grounds to believe that a coup d’état might have been launched by Lim remains to be seen – Gloria’s government and her spin masters have to prove that Lim had sequestered military logistics and ammos for the purpose of a violent overthrow. Until then, the only threat to Gloria’s goverment was a general who tried to incite his superior to commit mutiny.

    Incidentally, two of the most well-known proponents of a coup d’état was Gloria and her husband when they encouraged and gave firm backing to a military general to launch the violent overthrow of the Erap government.

    It was Gloria’s favorite general BGen Espinoza, former Marines chief and the supplier of the infamous Marines’ helmets (that got Admiral Wong, former FOIC later into trouble with the Marines for denouncing the Espinoza helmets) who would have led a violent coup d’état against Erap had Angie Reyes not been able to persuade Major Service Commaders to agree to withdraw support.

    • Fritz on February 25, 2006 at 10:20 pm

    Poor Mojo is ready to help.

    • Fritz on February 25, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    Poor Mojo is ready to help.


    We’re ready to help you with a little extra space if you need it.


    • Joey M. on February 25, 2006 at 10:42 pm

    I’ve never heard of the tribune. I don’t know anybody who reads that or knows that exists so who cares.

    • mlq3 on February 25, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    fritz, i appreciate it very much, thank you.

    a de brux, i will use your point re: mutiny in my column, thank you.

    • mlq3 on February 25, 2006 at 10:48 pm

    joey m: as the government slogan puts it: GMA Cares.

    • David on February 25, 2006 at 11:05 pm

    I read the link. “Shut down” seems to be an exaggeration. The police just took copies of a mock-up issue (whatever that means) and copies of photographs.

    • Danielle on February 25, 2006 at 11:16 pm

    We subscribe to the Tribune and Malaya. That their offices were raided or visited by the police, is extremely disturbing.

    • a de brux on February 25, 2006 at 11:23 pm

    MLQ3, am honored. Thank you too.

    • mlq3 on February 25, 2006 at 11:25 pm

    danielle, did you get your saturday issue of the tribune?

    • Danielle on February 25, 2006 at 11:34 pm

    Yes, I have it. Do you need it?

    • a de brux on February 26, 2006 at 12:20 am


    Just read an Inq7 newsflash “PRESIDENT Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s state of emergency declaration was not an overreaction, but rather a preemptive move that prevented possible violence and bloodshed, according to Chief of Staff Michael Defensor.”

    What a load of utter, complete bull!

    This is an example of the most convoluted statements that only this dimwit Defensor is truly capable of.

    Really? The Emergency declaration prevented possible violence and bloodshed? What about the poor demonstrators who endured violence and were blooded in the aftermath?

    Obviously, the SEO prevented violence AGAINST Gloria’s government but Defensor must at least be truthful: IT DID NOT PREVENT GLORIA’S GOVERNMENT FROM COMMITTING VIOLENCE!

    How extraordinary that this government should create such spins and persuade people that it is not over-reacting?

    Gloria has over-reacted because she is scared. There’s nothing wrong with that but this government should be honest enough to acknowledge this instead of resorting to baloneys.

    On hindsight, Cory Aquino, a widow, is the bravest and the most courageous of all the leaders the Philippines had these last 20 years; she may be accused of poor governance but one thing she cannot and never be accused of is cowardice.

    I remember an incident when she went South to speak with Nur Misuari. Her PSG Chief at the time (Gen Volt Gazmin) who was accompanying her didn’t want to leave her alone with Nur for physical safety concerns. Cory asked Volt to leave her alone with Nur and was without close military protection. That was a display of great, raw COURAGE, something that Gloria will never, ever possess!

    • corned beef on February 26, 2006 at 12:54 am

    Just when GMA brings in Ronnie Puno, that old Marcos hand…

    • Paeng on February 26, 2006 at 2:02 am


    Hulaan mo kung paano ko ipinagdiwang ang EDSA?


    • mlq3 on February 26, 2006 at 2:11 am

    hala. lagot ka. hehe.

    • Paeng on February 26, 2006 at 2:25 am

    ang daming pulis. hirap maniyempo. nandun lang sa kabila. nakakakaba.

    (pero asenso, may napadaang taga-REUTERS, international exposure tuloy. haha)

    • Monique on February 26, 2006 at 9:08 am

    Who will be next kaya? There’s news that ABANTE is next.

    Tsk tsk tsk.

    What will Engel have to say about this kaya…

    • baycas on February 26, 2006 at 9:10 am

    yes, there are excesses but likewise there are startling revelations…as in the cases of gloria’s venable and dubya’s ports deal…

    NO to watchdogs being turned into puppies!

    • Gerry Bhoy on February 26, 2006 at 10:01 am

    I invite you to join the Blogging Hukbong Bayan!!!!

    Bloggers Unite!

    • Gr00vezilla on February 26, 2006 at 10:03 am


    Must have back up blog. write more and encourage more people. I think the bloggers could be next.


    • djuara on February 26, 2006 at 12:24 pm

    prelude to GMA declaring a state of panic! to borrow the phrase from MLQ3, those so called bombs exploding in jolo and near malacanang palace was enough to rouse attention that something was about to happen.

    i do agree that there was no actual coup attempt, the scenario was exaggerated by GMA and co. it was quite well planned all GMA and co. had to do was declare a state of emergency on the eve of the edsa anniversary, with all the anti govt rallies expected, anticipated and forthcoming.

    a newspaper has been shut down with the possibility of several more to follow including radio and tv station

    we are a country with a supreme court under the GMAs leash, a country with its congress and its armed forces bastardized and corrupted by our leaders with a senate trying to distance itself from GMA yet ending up “inutile”

    • Marcial Bonifacio on February 26, 2006 at 2:14 pm





    • joey on February 26, 2006 at 3:27 pm

    what’s all the fuzz for the tribune.it’s just another opposition newspaper.
    useing press freedom to defend the tribune is a waste of time for a newspaper that does not have anything to contribute to building the nation.
    there is better tiolet paper then the tribune!
    How can people spreading venom be so undespensable?

    • Danielle on February 26, 2006 at 3:57 pm

    I thought we were living in a democracy. But with this so called state of emergency, it looks like we are going to be living in a Nazi state. The PNP’s statement that they were going to issue guidelines for the press goes against our Constitution. The raid to the Tribune is just the beginning and that’s the scary part.

    • mlq3 on February 26, 2006 at 4:12 pm

    joey, today’s opposition rag is tomorrow’s admin favored paper; just as today’s admin propaganda organ is tomorrow’s endangered opposition rag. you want the freedom to say what you want today, even tomorrow? defend even those you disagree with.

    • joey on February 27, 2006 at 11:58 am

    sorry manolo,that is a nice line taken from somewhere.
    how can an opposition that you yourself are not to happy about be tomorro’s future of sorts.
    manolo, i know you are a great freedom lover.who is not a freedom lover?
    but freedom can only be lost when we used it recklesly.
    honestly manolo if i fill my freedom is threatened.i would say it’s thretened by those insisting on their’s
    because they add to lives difficulties.
    manolo naman, sana you have better taste on where your beating your future.
    just because you & many others can’t stand or deal w/ the present administration does not mean the present administration is doing it all wrong.
    everything in life swings two ways.
    if the administration shold do the right things so do we have to do the right things.
    critizing it & looking only for the administrations faults will make us all losers.
    i can understand it’s not easy to deal w/ shit.
    but if we wanna grow, we all have to think deeper & have a wider vision of things.
    if not we get stuck in so many details that makes life miserable.
    while in the mean time others move on.you insted gets left behind.
    manolo, your a great writter & i admire you for that.
    i’m worlds away compared to you.
    but you lack something.
    maybe it’s the connection between theory, idealissim to connect w/ reality.

    • a de brux on February 28, 2006 at 3:37 am


    Re The Unlawyer’s comment

    Spot on! Why aren’t military officers and men taking the brunt of the charges?

    Tell you why? Coz there’s no solid evidence! The panic act was based on an imminent imminence of an imminent immince of an imminently imminent coup.

    • epsotto on February 28, 2006 at 8:23 am

    “I began to sense faintly that secrecy is the keystone of all tyranny. Not force, but secrecy … censorship. When any government, or any church for that matter, undertakes to say to its subjects, ‘This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,’ the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything — you can’t conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him.” Robert A. Heinlein

  1. […] Independent newsmagazine Newsbreak expressed its alarm over the Tribune raid. “We view the raid on Tribune, an opposition newspaper, with alarm. It appears to signal the start of a crackdown on media organizations.” Newspaper columnist Manolo Quezon said he shares the Newsbreak statement. […]

  2. […] In an unusual move, Newsbreak magazine, which has published highly critical investigative reports on the Arroyo administration and the military, issued a statement saying: “We view the raid on Tribune, an opposition newspaper, with alarm. It appears to signal the start of a crackdown on media organizations.” And more and more groups have come out opposing Proclamation 1017, President Arroyo’s decree declaring a “state of national emergency.” […]

  3. […] I’d like to post something cheerful (weird links) or inconsequential (recent consumption of pop culture) not Serious with a capital S. Unfortunately, I can’t just yet. I read somewhere Monday is supposed to be important regarding the status of PGMA’s State of Emergency declartion. Already the empathic warning of the government on media and the closing of the Tribune has a chilling effect on some of the normally…verbose…bloggers. I can’t believe younger bloggers don’t even mention any of the events that will have a direct effect on their future. Still others still sit on the fence on the face of blatant abuse of power. I guess they’re still waiting for that knock in the night to get them off their asses. But know this: if they do crackdown on web-access and blogging, somehow the Filipinos based outside the country will continue getting the word out on events in Manila. Conrado de Quiros said it best in his column today: Protest. Defy. Fight back. […]

  4. […] If President Arroyo claims that last Friday’s alleged aborted coup d’etat [A commenter at Manuel Quezon III’s blog makes a distinction between a mutiny – which is what apparently happened over the weekend – and a putsch – Ed.] was the unwholesome fruit of a conspiracy between extreme leftists and rightists, why is it that avowed Communists and progressives seem to have taken the brunt of the charges so far filed by the secret police? […]

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