INQUIRER.net says no decision yet on Sotto’s request
Senate President Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Monday claimed that INQUIRER.net would grant his request to kill “malicious” opinion and news items because they were “original fake news.”
“They will take it down because it was fake news,” he said when asked if he would file libel charges against the news company if they rejected his request.
However, INQUIRER.net publisher and editor in chief Abel Ulanday said “there has been no decision yet on the request.”
Sotto attempted to parry questions on his request to kill three opinion and news articles, but the members of the media cornered him.
Over the weekend, US-based columnist Rodel Rodis posted on his Facebook copies of Sotto’s letter requesting INQUIRER.net to take down two of his columns titled “The Rape of Pepsi Paloma” and “Was Pepsi Paloma Murdered?”
The Senate President was also demanding to take down a news article “Tito Sotto denies Whitewashing Pepsi Paloma Rape Case.”
Asked about his critics’ comment that Sotto was using his new position as Senate President to bully the Inquirer, he slammed his car’s door and opened his window to reply: “Ask the Inquirer if I was bullying them.”
Sotto’s formal request came few days after he was elected as Senate President.
“Ibig mong sabihin kapag sinabi ko ‘yung mga taong naninira, binabayaran, freedom of the press ‘yun?” he said when he was told that some view his request as a press freedom issue.
The National Union of Journalist of the Philippines slammed Sotto’s “brazen attempt to suppress freedom of the press and of expression by asking online news portal Inquirer.net to take down three stories about him from its site.”
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