Pangilinan calls for people to ’come together’ in wake of SEC ruling on Rappler
Sen. Francis Pangilinan, president of Liberal Party (LP), called for solidarity on Monday following the Security and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) order to shut down online news outfit, Rappler.
“Today, one of the most prominent voices for truth-telling and journalistic integrity – the news portal Rappler – has been stripped of its SEC registration, effectively revoking their license to operate in the country,” Pangilinan said in a statement.
“This, and other recent developments, have only made it more evident how important it is for people to have a way to come together. In a time of fear, of relentless attacks on our institutions, the abuse of power, and the feeling of helplessness that this breeds – we seek solidarity,” he said.
Realizing this over the past few months, Pangilinan said the LP has opened up its membership beyond the usual political sectors – students, the academe, and other basic sectors.
“We remain committed to this effort,” he said. “Our recruitment portal is now online at http://partidoliberal.ph; if you wish to stand with us; if you think that defending our freedoms requires a real, organized, strategic effort, one that values every individual’s contribution, then we invite you to join us.”
“Our party leaders are likewise determined to speak out; over the next few days, you will hear more from us, and we ask that you spread the message: We stand with Rappler and all other truth-tellers. We stand for freedom – the very essence of liberalism,” he added. “We offer a platform where we can come together and determine what we can do to rise to the challenges to our freedoms and our constitutional democracy. We are here.”
In a separate statement, Sen. Bam Aquino said Rappler’s closure “is a win for fake news, and a loss for dissenting voices and free speech.”
Aquino, an LP member, and Pangilinan, are members of the minority bloc in the Senate.
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, also a minority member, strongly condemned the revocation of Rappler’s registration, saying it was a “clear attempt” by President Rodrigo Duterte to “muzzle the few remaining independent media outfits in the country.”
“It would also send a chilling message to other media entities to force them to tow the administration’s propaganda lines,” Trillanes said in a separate statement.. “It is time for the different media groups to close ranks and fight for their constitutionally enshrined freedom of the press.” /atm
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.