Campus journalists have condemned a group of public school teachers and barangay officials in Cabiao, Nueva Ecija who forced the editor in chief of University of the East’s The Dawn to apologize publicly for his statements on social media.

The former school teachers were said to have threatened Joshua Molo with a cyber-libel case after he criticized them on Instagram. Molo was later summoned to San Fernando Sur barangay hall and reportedly made to sign a waiver stating that he would no longer criticize the government’s Covid-19 response.

Molo uploaded a video of himself making a public apology and signed the waiver to avoid litigation. The video was later taken down after the provoking public outrage.

In his social media posts, Molo said the teachers were involved in campus journalism competitions.

The Weekly Dawn Twitter account said: “Preventing someone from expressing his or her opinion on matters such as grievances against the government is an act of oppression. We, the members of the UE Dawn, strongly believe that to criticize the government is a right of every Filipino.”

In a statement, the UST Journalism Society said: “We cannot let cases such as this happen, pandemic or not. We cannot let the public health emergency be a justification for any form of injustice and violation of rights in our society.”