Order to shutter Rappler draws mixed reaction from senators
Senators have mixed reaction over the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) order to shut down online news site Rappler, with one describing it “worrisome” and another calling it “pure harassment” and “Marcosian.”
“That’s worrisome but let me read the resolution of the SEC,” Senate Minority Franklin Drilon told reporters on Monday when sought for comment.
Senator Risa Hontiveros, who is part of the Senate minority bloc, said the revocation of Rappler’s registration was “pure harassment and a clear attack on press freedom.”
“It is also Marcosian. It’s a move straight out of the dictator’s playbook,” Hontiveros said in a text message, apparently referring to the late strongman, Ferdinand Marcos.
“I urge the public and all media practitioners to defend press freedom & the right to speak truth to power,” the lady senator said.
Although she has yet to study the SEC’s resolution, Senator Grace Poe expressed hope that the move was not meant to curtail the freedom of the press.
“Unang-una kailangan pag-aralan ano ba ang kanilang naging violation? Ano ba ang kanilang naging pagkukulang? Kung meron silang hindi nagawa na required sa lahat ng media outfits o kaya sa mga website na katulad nila, kailangan natin tingnan kung saan sila nagkamali,” Poe, who chairs the Senate committee on public information and mass media, said in a separate interview.
“Basta lang, huwag ito ang paraan na mapatahimik ang sinumang grupo o organisasyon na maghayag. Yun lang naman ang aking nais na masiguro kaya hindi muna ako magsasabi na ito ba ay tama o mali, kasi meron naman talaga tayong mga proseso na dapat na sinusunod. Basta ang nararapat dito, hindi pinipigil ang isang organisasyon kung naghahayag ng balita o opinion basta lamang ito ay naaayon sa batas,” she added.
For his part, Senator Richard Gordon expressed hope that the SEC should have good reasons for shutting down Rappler.
“Simply because it transgresses on freedom of the press, which I think is sacrosanct in any democracy. Hindi dapat pinapakialaman yung freedom of the press even if maaanghang ang mga sinasabi, hindi masyadong nire-research. Importante sa atin may freedom of the press,” Gordon said in another interview.
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