Roque: Rappler journos can still cover events as bloggers
Malacañang said on Wednesday that Rappler reporters could continue to cover their assigned beats as “bloggers” once the ruling of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoking the online news site’s license to operate becomes final.
In a televised press briefing in La Union, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said: “Pupuwede pa po sila na maging bloggers, malinaw po iyan. Maria Ressa can continue to blog, Pia Ranada can continue to blog, kaya nga lang po baka kinakailangan silang kumuha ng accreditation as bloggers.
“Kasi they cannot continue conducting their business as Rappler since that company has, for all intents and purposes, been declared void by the SEC.”
“Well, all bloggers, in order to have access to Malacañang will have to seek accreditation. But we will never prohibit them from exercising their protective freedom,” he added.
Roque has asserted that the decision of the SEC was not an attack against press freedom, citing that Rappler reporters could still continue with their reporting, but maintained that Rappler violated the Constitution on the restriction for media ownership.
The SEC, in a 29-page decision dated January 11, ruled that Rappler, Inc. and its controlling shareholder Rappler Holdings Corp. were “liable for violating the constitutional and statutory Foreign Equity Restrictions in Mass Media enforceable through rules and laws within the mandate of the Commission.”
Roque had earlier called on Rappler to exhaust all lawful remedies against the decision.
“Rappler may wish to exhaust all available legal remedies until the decision becomes final,” he said.
Rappler has said it would challenge the SEC decision in court.
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