Duterte has nothing to do with SEC ruling vs Rappler, says Palace
President Rodrigo Duterte has denied he had a hand on the controversial ruling of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoking Rappler’s license for allegedly violating ownership rules.
Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said Duterte called him “for the first time “on Monday night to relay that he had nothing to do with the SEC’s decision.
“Hindi tootoo ‘yan. Wala akong kinalaman diyan sa Rappler na ‘yan ha,” Roque quoted Duterte.
(That’s not true. I have nothing to do there with Rappler.)
“The President has nothing to do with it. It’s by individuals who were not his appointees,” he added, citing that most of the officials of the SEC were appointees of former president Benigno Aquino III.
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on Tuesday refuted the claim of the Duterte administration that it had nothing to do with the SEC ruling.
In a press briefing in Malacañang, Roque said Duterte “found it unfair” that Ressa was crying out for violation of press freedom.
“The President found it unfair for Maria Ressa to claim violation freedom of the press when according to him, Rappler has been very active [in] criticizing individuals for violating the Constitution and the laws of the land and it turns out it is by itself violating the Constitution,” he said.
The Palace official said the government has not suppressed press freedom against Rappler contrary to the allegations of the administration’s critics.
“We would like to deny first and foremost that the state has not infringed on freedom of the press of Rappler or any of its reporters. Truth is, the reporter of Rappler is still in our press briefing, she has not been prevented from exercising her profession as a journalist. None of the individuals behind Rappler will be prevented from performing their duties as journalist,” he said.
“There is no affront of freedom of the press because there is no censorship,” he added.
Roque said the ruling of SEC simply meant that “no one is exempt from complying from the laws of the land, even Rappler and even the media.” /je
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