MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – Free speech is under heavy attack in Asia. North Korea’s Kim Jong Un has banned sarcasm while a group of Philippine senators wants to outlaw satire.
Kim has banned sarcasm because he fears people only agree with him ironically, according to reports. Government officials were apparently warned they will “not be forgiven” if they are heard being sarcastic. Mass meetings were organised across the country to spread the word about the new order.
Meanwhile in the Philippines, four senators have banded together to file a jont bill that would outlaw satire in the country. The senators — Tito Sotto III, Manny Pacquiao, Ria Hontiveros and Leila De Lima — said they’re tired of being the subject of ridicule and the butt of jokes from a growing number of news satire sites.
“Why can’t these sites just leave us alone to do our job,” the senators complained. “When we are attacked on social media for our brilliant ideas, these satire sites are practically attacking the millions of people who voted for us.”
Sotto, who in the past was accused of plagiarizing the late U.S. Senator Robert F. Kennedy, urged his followers to boycott satire news sites, including The Adobo Chronicles, So, What’s News?, The Professional Heckler, Mosquito Press, Eritas Times, Pinoy Trending, The Sick Man of Asia, The Philippine Trend, The Philippine Chronicle, The Philippine Pride, Baskille, and XOLXOL.ph
In addition to the satire sites, Hontiveros also wants to ban pro-Duterte bloggers like Sass Rogando Sasot and Mocha Uson.
The bill is set to be filed in the Senate’s next session.