Timeline: Attacks and hostility against the media during the 2022 campaign




May 11, 2022

Lawyer Vic Rodriguez, spokesperson of presumptive president Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr., refused to answer questions by Rappler reporter Lian Buan during a live press briefing.

"As Marcos prepares to assume the presidency on June 30, his contempt for the media could pose serious risks for democracy in the Philippines," said Carlos Conde, Human Rights Watch senior Philippines researcher.

"Ignoring critical publications is bad enough, but Marcos Jr. will have tools at his disposal to muzzle the media in a manner that the elder Marcos, no supporter of press freedom, could only dream of," he said.

April 29, 2022

For the second time in a week, the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) was the target of spear phishing attacks. Different email addresses posed as PCIJ Editorial to get people to download suspicious attachments. 

April 27, 2022

Jacqueline Hernandez and Rappler were harassed online following the publication of photographs that put a spotlight on poor communities in Cebu province when the online news organization reported on the opening of the P33-billion Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway.

Netizens celebrating the completion of the bridge resented having to see a shanty district in the foreground of one of Hernandez's photos. 

The photo successfully put poverty front and center in the campaign discourse, albeit briefly, with candidates acknowledging the need for inclusive development in the province. 

April 25, 2022

Commission on Elections (Comelec) commissioner Rey Bulay threatened the media with libel following reports on his threat to incarcerate those who undermine the integrity of the elections. After facing public backlash, Bulay blamed the media for misquoting or taking his statement out of context. 

April 22, 2022

PCIJ first reported it was the target of spear phishing attacks. Different email addresses posed as PCIJ Editorial to get people to download suspicious attachments. 

April 13, 2022

Pseudonymous Twitter users tagged ABS-CBN and National Union of Journalists of the Philippines as the "mouthpiece" and legal front, respectively, of the CPP-NPA-NDF.

March 17, 2022

A pseudonymous Twitter user accused Rappler reporter Lian Buan of being "one of the high-ranking officials of the CPP-NPA-NDF."

March 16, 2022

The news websites of Cagayan de Oro-based Mindanao Gold Star Daily, PressOne.PH, and Interaksyon were hit by a DDoS attack and were inaccessible. These organizations are involved in fact-checking initiatives with regard to the May 2022 polls. The cyber attacks happened on the day of the “Bangsamoro Agenda 2022 Forum,” which PressOne.PH co-hosted, and a day after PCIJ published its report on attacks and hostilities against the media amid the election coverage.

March 10, 2022

Alternative news site Bulatlat was said to be targeted by a DDoS attack.

March 1, 2022

A slay attempt was made against The Daily Tribune correspondent Aldwin Quitasol, president of the Baguio Correspondents and Broadcasters Club.

Feb. 27, 2022

CNN Philippines reported DDoS attacks on its website during the network’s live presidential debate.

Feb. 17, 2022

Sherwin de Vera and Edwin Mangoba, who were both reporting for Rappler, were barred from covering the public caravan of presidential candidate and former senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. 

Feb. 17, 2022

ABS-CBN stringer Dynah Diestro was driven away from her coverage during the visit of four senatorial candidates to the Zamboanga del Norte governor’s office. 

Jan. 30, 2022

CNN Philippines announced that its website was inaccessible due to a DDoS attack.

Jan. 29, 2022

GMA News reported a DDoS attack. This came a week after the network aired “The Jessica Soho Presidential Interviews.”

Jan. 22 and 27, 2022

Rappler reported a DDoS attack on its website.

Jan. 12, 2022

Radyo ni Juan Tacurong radio commentator Jaynard Angeles was shot in the head by two unidentified male assailants. 

Dec. 23, 2021

In less than a week, Rappler was subjected to another DDoS attack. The ABS-CBN news website also went down, though the network did not confirm the reason for the outage.

Dec. 19, 2021

AlterMidya staff Arian Puse received threats via Messenger chat. The message read, “uunti-untiin kita”, “alam ko (ang) bahay mo at pinagtatrabahuan mo”, and “huling Pasko (mo) na ito.”

Dec. 16, 2021

The Vera Files website was hit by a DDoS attack.

Dec. 15, 2021

Rappler was subjected to a DDoS attack.

Dec. 11, 2021

The ABS-CBN news website was targeted by a DDoS attack and was inaccessible for six hours.

Nov. 17-18, 2021

Pinoy Media Center, which publishes Pinoy Weekly, was subjected to DDoS attacks. The cyberattacks came after it published an editorial on a possible Duterte-Marcos alliance and an analysis of the agenda for the 2022 elections.


Oct. 30, 2021

Radio commentator and Newsline Philippines reporter Orlando Dinoy was killed in his apartment. He was being pushed to run for vice mayor of Bansalan, Davao del Sur. Dinoy had six gunshot wounds, according to reports.



Did we miss anything? Email editorial@pcij.org to help us monitor harassment of the media during the 2022 election coverage.


Source: PCIJ collated the data from various news reports, including alerts from the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines.

Photo: Shutterstock

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