Rappler ban: Aguirre sees no press freedom violation
There was no violation of press freedom when Rappler was barred from covering events of President Rodrigo Duterte, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said on Wednesday.
“No, that was not a violation of such right. There is such a thing as proper accreditation as you know very well in your profession,” Aguirre told reporters.
“Media men should comply with all requirements,” he added.
The Justice Chief said that while freedom of the press is guaranteed under the Constitution, such rights have limitations.
“Freedom of the press is not absolute. People also have the right to be protected from fake news,” he argued.
With regards to Rappler’s eligibility to cover Malacañang as part of the “mass media” remains as a justiciable issue, Aguirre said.
He noted the pending case in the Court of Appeals (CA) involving the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that cancelled the corporate registration of Rappler due to violation of constitutional ban on foreign ownership in mass media firms in the country.
“We want to emphasize that your DOJ respects freedom of the press. However, to borrow the words of the National Press Club, responsible journalism means compliance with the law,” Aguirre added.
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