Pangilinan blasts SEC’s ‘unacceptable legalism’ to shut down Rappler | Inquirer News
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Pangilinan blasts SEC’s ‘unacceptable legalism’ to shut down Rappler

/ 02:38 PM January 19, 2018

Liberal Party (LP) President Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan dismissed as “unacceptable legalism” the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) against Rappler in order to justify the closure of the online news site.

Pangilinan recalled how former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr. “resorted to legalism with the issuance of thousands of presidential decrees, executive orders and proclamations to justify his oppressive, corrupt and tyrannical rule.”

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In a statement on Friday, Pangilinan also said that the assault against Rappler was just one of the many “relentless attacks on our institutions and on the stifling of dissent.”

Pangilinan then enumerated what he described as attacks and prior restraint on institutions, which included the “arrest and detention of Senator de Lima on outrageous testimonies of convicted criminals; P1000-peso budget for the Commission on Human Rights; alleged killing of over 14,000 individuals under the administration’s so-called drug war; impeachment threat against the Ombudsman; ongoing impeachment hearings against Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno; and threats against the Inquirer and ABS CBN Broadcasting Corp.

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“In view of all of the above, the SEC ruling is unacceptable legalism to justify its closure of Rappler. Marcos the lawyer resorted to legalism to justify his trampling of our people’s civil and political rights, so did the lawyer-commissioners of the SEC,” Pangilinan said.

“What we do or fail to do will either enable or help defeat impunity,” he added.

In a 29-page decision dated January 11, the SEC revoked Rappler’s license to operate, asserting that the online news site “(violated) the constitutional and statutory Foreign Equity Restrictions in Mass Media enforceable through rules and laws within the mandate of the Commission.”

It can be recalled, however, that during his 2017 State of the Nation Address, President Rodrigo Duterte threatened to have Rappler’s ownership investigated.

READ: Rappler vows to continue bringing news: ‘We will hold the line’

/kga

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TAGS: journalists, President Rodrigo Duterte, press freedom, Rappler, Senator Kiko Pangilinan
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