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Newsroom Shutdown

Newsroom Shutdown

“This building has been sequestered by the government.”

Newspaper employees stood in front of their offices the morning of September 23, 1972 reading this line plastered on their doors. In the late sixties, the Filipino people strained their ears in an attempt to hear murmurs of the thousand voices muffled heavily by presidential decrees and policies. Articles were edited, buildings of publications sequestered, and journalists brutally intimidated and silenced. This was the Philippine press under the Martial Law.

“Newsroom Shutdown” brings together three journalists to tell their stories about the tumultuous years of Martial Law on March 19, 2016, Saturday, 2 – 4 PM. At the time when numerous media-regulating bodies were built up only to be quickly dismantled, censorship was a word known but not spoken by many. Hear the stories of Ceres Doyo, Jose Lacaba, and Vergel Santos as they recount the crusade against journalistic suppression throughout the Martial Law period. The panel discussion is geared towards revisiting moments wherein dailies and newspaper publications were closed down — intimidated into reticence, fear and submission. “Newsroom Shutdown” hopes to establish the relevance and reverberating aftermath of the Marcos dictatorship that still haunts us today.


CERES DOYO has been writing for the Philippine Daily Inquirer since 1986. In the years of Martial Law, she was writer for the mosquito press. Doyo was subjected to military interrogations and court charges for her articles, particularly her report on the fallen Macli-ing Dulag. She contributed to “The Philippine Press under Siege”, a two-volume publication that contained more than 60 articles contributed by different writers on stories that were deemed provocative and affronting to the power in place.


JOSE LACABA, an award winning film writer, screen writer and journalist, wrote the infamous poem “Prometheus Unbound” published on July 14, 1973. Detained for two years during the Martial Law period for his involvement with anti-Marcos activists, his journalistic pursuits, and his coverage of an anti-Marcos movement, The First Quarter Storm, Lacaba was subjected repeatedly to torture and interrogations.

VERGEL SANTOS is the current publisher and editorial board chairman of BusinessWorld. He is also a trustee of the Center for Media Freedom and responsibility. After the Manila Chronicle was shut down after the declaration of the Martial Law, Vergel became a freelance writer. It was his article in the UK Press Gazette entitled, “Martial Law by any Other Name,” that subjected him to military interrogations during the dark days.

The lecture is brought to you in part by Gourmet Farms Inc. Registration is at Php 135 for adults and Php 115 for students and museum members.


For inquiries and reservations email or call at 631-2417, look for Thea or Yna.