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Lifting ban on Rappler up to OSG, says Palace

Malacañang is leaving it to the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to answer the petition to lift President Duterte’s ban against online news site Rappler, arguing that the ban “is not a form of prior restraint.”

Presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said he will not preempt Solicitor General Jose Calida’s remarks on the petition pending in the Supreme Court, adding that even if Rappler reporters have been banned from covering the President since 2018, they were still free to write and publish stories on Mr. Duterte.

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“You must remember that until now, they are still writing news… Even if they are not here, they still know what is happening in the Palace,” he said.

“The issue is precisely whether or not the Palace has the right to ban a particular reporter in places where the President is. That’s the issue,” Panelo said.

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He added that though he was not familiar with the reason for the ban, covering the President was not a right, but rather “a privilege,” for journalists.

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TAGS: coverage ban, Malacañang, Rappler
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