Palace on plea to end Duterte’s coverage ban vs Rappler: ‘It’s a free country’
MANILA, Philippines — Rappler is free to file a petition before the Supreme Court (SC) to end President Rodrigo Duterte’s coverage ban against the news website, Malacañang said Thursday.
“It’s a free country. We do not interfere with the judiciary,” Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said in a text message to reporters.
On February 20, 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte banned Pia Ranada, Rappler’s Malacañang reporter, from entering Malacañang.
The ban later expanded to all Rappler reporters in all of the President’s events whether inside or outside Malacañang.
Duterte has called Rappler a “fake news outlet” that published stories “rife with innuendos and pregnant with falsity.”
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in January 2018 revoked Rappler’s license to due to operate alleged violations of the Constitution and corporate regulations.
Ranada, who is a member of the Malacañang Press Corps, said the high court is “our last resort.”
“We filed only now because we wanted to find other solutions first, outside of a case. First, we waited because we thought he (Duterte) might change his mind. When this did not happen, we wrote to Malacañang officials to let us cover specific events. They did not reply to us,” she said in a Viber message.
She said she was able to talk to Duterte on January 2109 and “even gave him a Christmas card and asked if we could talk.”
“Nothing happened. The Supreme Court is our last resort,” she said. /kga
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