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Manila Shuts Down Pro-Marcos Paper, Bars Enrile TV Interview

January 12, 1987|United Press International

MANILA — The Aquino government today announced closure of a newspaper supporting ousted ruler Ferdinand E. Marcos and blocked broadcast of a television interview with fired Defense Minister Juan Ponce Enrile.

Critics said the shutdown of the Daily Express newspaper and the ban on broadcasting the Enrile interview on state-run television constituted censorship. Government officials denied the allegation.

The Presidential Commission on Good Government announced the Daily Express will be closed effective Jan. 31 because it is a drain on the national treasury.

The 15-year-old newspaper was regarded as the mouthpiece of the Marcos government during the martial-law years of 1972-1981.

The commission took it over after Marcos' ouster last year because the newspaper allegedly was financed with money Marcos obtained illegally.

The government of President Corazon Aquino also barred a government TV network known as People's Television from broadcasting a show, "Coffee Time in Manila," featuring Enrile.

An Aquino spokesman said the move did not constitute a violation of press freedom because Enrile requested a solo appearance, leaving the government unable to present its viewpoint.

Presidential press secretary Teodoro Benigno said there was "zero balance" in the show and to permit broadcast of the "solo performance" on the state-run network would enable Enrile "to rant, fume, rage and criticize government" on its own TV station.

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