OSG asks SC to void Comelec-Rappler deal
MANILA, Philippines — The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) on Monday petitioned the Supreme Court to cancel the agreement that the Commission on Elections (Comelec) had entered into with news website Rappler after the camp of presidential aspirant Ferdinand Marcos Jr. questioned the deal.
Solicitor General Jose Calida, an avowed supporter of Marcos, insisted that the memorandum of agreement between Rappler and Comelec to combat election-related disinformation on social media flouted the Constitution.
He claimed that allowing Rappler to fact-check and flag misleading social media posts regarding the May 9 general elections “clearly constitutes prior restraint on freedom of speech and of expression.”
The fact-checking network Tsek.ph earlier said Marcos, the son of the late dictator, had benefited the most from the massive disinformation online while his staunch political rival, Vice President Leni Robredo, had been its “biggest victim.”
The OSG admitted that the petition was “an unprecedented one” since it was supposed to defend Comelec in its legal woes as the state’s primary law office.
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