Rappler seeks SC help on coverage ban
BAGUIO CITY, Philippines — Online news organization Rappler on Thursday asked the Supreme Court to stop the implementation of President Rodrigo Duterte’s order prohibiting its organization and affiliated reporters from covering all public events where he is present for violation of the Constitution.
In their 74-page petition, they told the Supreme Court that the ban is in violation of the constitutional guarantees of press freedom, free speech, due process and equal protection.
The organization said the ban constitutes prior restraint on the press.
“The ban is based on personal determination that Rappler or its journalists are ‘liars’ or peddlers of ‘fake news.’ This so-called power which has no basis in law, effectively creates another layer of governmental regulation on the press, that is for a member of the press to continue as such, he/she/it should not be branded by the government branch as ‘fake news,’” read the petition.
On March 1, 2018, the President issued an open-ended order banning Rappler. From then on, Malacañang has not allowed Rappler from covering public events where the President is present.
While the ban can be considered as “innocent regulations,” Petitioners said “it is a form of subsequent punishment that sends a chilling message to media: report critically on the administration and you can get banned from newsworthy government events as well.”
Among the petitioners are Rappler reporters and officers namely Pia Ranada, Mara Cepeda, Raymon Dullana, Frank Cimatu, Mauricio Victa, Camille Elemia, Ralf Rivas and Baltazar Lagsa.
Respondents, on the other hand, are the Office of the President, Office of the Executive Secretary, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Media Accreditation Regulatory Office and the Presidential Security Group. /je
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