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Gatchalian thinks Palace must still allow journo to cover

Senator, however, thinks reporter showed ‘unprofessional’, ‘offensive’ behavior in the past
/ 01:43 PM February 22, 2018

Senator Sherwin Gatchalian said on Thursday that Malacañang should not prevent a Rappler reporter from covering its press conferences as well as the President even if he also cited past behavior of the journalist as “unprofessional” and “offensive.”

Gatchalian acceded to some observations that the way Pia Ranada fielded her questions to President Rodrigo Duterte before were improper and invasive, and could have been the reason why the Palace was compelled to take such action against her.

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“I think in the past there were instances na I found offensive and you know, we all try to answer the best as we can. Some of the questioning in the past I found it unprofessional. I think that was the cause of the issue,” Gatchalian told reporters at a Senate forum.

“But I would say that Rappler should still be allowed to cover in the press con, just like other media outfit, but there are certain limits na prerogative ng Malacañang who should be allowed or not,” he added.

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According to the legislator, Ranada’s aggressive manner of asking questions to Mr. Duterte could have led to a “personal rift” between Rappler and the President.

“Tinitignan ko kung paano nya ininterview ‘yung President in the past, and in my opinion I can sense that nagkaroon na ng parang personalan between Rappler and the President,” he said.

“And I think the President also found the way she interviews him as quite offensive and unprofessional so I think that is the entire context,” he added.

Ranada was initially briefly barred from entering Malacañang early Tuesday by a Presidential Security Group (PSG) member stationed at Gate 2, which is the entry to the New Executive Building (NEB) where the working area of the Malacañang Press Corps (MPS) is housed. Ranada is a member of the MPC.

READ: Journo briefly barred from entering Malacañang

On Tuesday night, however, Ranada was already told that she could no longer enter the Malacañang complex as well as cover presidential events and Palace activities.

This order to ban Ranada came a day after Special Assistant to the President Christopher “Bong” Go faced a Senate inquiry into the P13.7-billion frigates deal of the Philippine Navy.                        /kga

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TAGS: Pia Rañada, press freedom, Rappler, Senator Sherwin Gatchalian
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