KBOO Community Radio joins our colleagues around the world, including the World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters (AMARC Asia-Pacific), in condemning the illegal arrest of Frenchie Mae Cumpio, 21, a community broadcaster and journalist associated with the Aksyon Radyo – Tacloban DYVL 819 kHz. Frenchie Mae is also the Executive Director of the independent media outfit Eastern Vista, correspondent of Altermidya in Tacloban City and an active member of the Philippine chapter of the International Association of Women in Radio and Television. According to statements, she and four other human rights defenders were arrested in Tacloban City early Friday morning, February 7, 2020.
According to human rights groups in the Philippines, the arrest of Frenchie Mae and the others is part of the government's work to silence those media personalities that are critical to the policies and principles of the state. Frenchie Mae was under surveillance by the state forces since 2018.
Frenchie Mae has faced repeated threats and harassment, including on January 31 when a suspected element of the Armed Forces of the Philippines visited her office in Tacloban City carrying a bouquet of flowers with Frenchie's photo inserted on it. Even though it was meant to be a death threat to her, Frenchie Mae continued her work until her arrest.
KBOO stands in solidarity with human rights defenders and advocates of free media in the Philippines, the global family of community radio stations united through AMARC, and advocates of freedom of expression.
We stand in solidarity with journalists in the Philippines protesting against the attacks by the Duterte administration against human rights defenders and free media.