The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) on Wednesday denounced a publicized claim that it was a "legal front" of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).
One Mario Ludades, purportedly of the "No to Communist Terrorist Group Coalition," counted the NUJP among the alleged "legal fronts" of communist rebels on Wednesday, the 50th anniversary of the CPP.
Other groups Ludades mentioned were the League of Filipino Students, the College Editors Guild of the Philippines, and the Students Christian Movement of the Philippines.
"The charge of being a 'legal front' of the communists is so absurd it is tempting to dismiss it outright," the NUJP said in a statement, but added that the group is treating the tag "seriously" in consideration of "potential risk" to its members.
In an apparent attempt to discredit Ludades, the group said "it does not take rocket science to guess who is behind him and the lies he spouts."
At the same time, the NUJP condemned the "almost simultaneous" "taking down" of the websites of two alternative media outfits — Bulatlat and Kodao — on Wednesday morning.
Bulatlat remained inaccessible as of this posting.
The NUJP claimed that the "attack" on the two outfits happened after they published stories about the CPP, likewise noting that armed men in civilian clothes, whom they suspect of being state security forces, were seen in the vicinity of the building that houses Kodao and other activist groups last week.
The supposed takedowns also bore "similar signs as the attack that led to the shutting down of the NUJP site a few months back," the journalists' group said.
"Only those who seek to suppress freedom of thought and of expression would seek to silence them and, for that matter, independent media as a whole," it stated.
The NUJP claimed it will not be cowed.
"If Ludades and his handlers, and those behind the taking down of the Bulatlat and Kodao sites, couldn’t be more wrong if they think they can intimidate us with stupid stunts like these," it said. —Nicole-Anne Lagrimas/ LDF, GMA News