By Luis Teodoro

A conference among lawyers and journalists from several Asian countries including the Philippines is concluding in Cebu. Sponsored by the Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA) through the London-based Open Society Institute, it is the second gathering of its kind. The first was held in Hongkong two years ago and examined the legal environments in the varied legal and political contexts in which journalists have to function in Asia.

The Cebu meeting has been looking into, among other topics, the ways in which lawyers and journalists have been cooperating to defend and advance free expression in Asia. Among the cases the conference looked into which has the potential to help besieged journalists cope with state repression elsewhere was the class suit filed by journalists and media organizations against Jose Miguel Mike Arroyo in 2006.

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