Group of lawyers to provide assistance to journalists, media orgs in job-related legal battles

Maris Federez   •   December 8, 2021   •   252


MANILA, Philippines — Lawyers from the Philippine Bar Association (PBA) have pledged to provide free legal assistance to journalists and media organizations who will find themselves embroiled in legal battles in the performance of their jobs.

PBA president Atty. Rico Domingo said their offer to help media practitioners stemmed from the action of Department of Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi who filed a case against journalists and several media organizations for libel and misinformation on the controversial Malampaya deal.

The media organizations include ABS-CBN, Rappler, BusinessWorld, and GMA News.

The PBA said that, as lawyers, they must preserve the importance of the freedom of speech, underscoring the big role of the media in information dissemination.

The PBA’s legal assistance will be coursed through the law firms owned by their members nationwide.

The group said they will be relentless in reaching out to media organizations and practitioners in defending their rights before the courts. —/mbmf (from the report of UNTV Correspondent Dante Amento)

Palace: The president respects criticisms

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 5, 2019

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte (King Rodriguez/Presidential Photo)

President Rodrigo Duterte respects criticisms, according to Malacañang after a recent survey reported that 51 percent of Filipinos agree it is dangerous to print or broadcast anything critical of the administration.

The Social Weather Stations (SWS) conducted the survey from June 22-26.

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the president even urges writers and reporters to freely express themselves.

“The President respects criticisms as long as the same is not baseless, unfounded or false. He even urges the people, including writers and reporters, to freely express whatever sentiments they have,” he said in a statement.

Panelo also assured there are no punishment against individuals who use their freedom of speech to criticize Duterte or his administration.

“There is no such prior restraint or subsequent punishment for those who practice the freedom to dissent in the Duterte presidency. As long as the speech or expression is within the ambit of the constitutional guarantees, it will not face any government interference,” he said.—AAC (with reports from Rosalie Coz)

MOA for free legal assistance to policemen, signed; task force PNP, formed

admin   •   July 21, 2016

Solicitor General Jose Calida (left) and PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa (right) during the signing of MOA for free legal assistance for policemen .

Solicitor General Jose Calida (left) and PNP Chief Ronald Dela Rosa (right) during the signing of MOA for free legal assistance for policemen .

Police Director General Ronald ‘Bato’ Dela Rosa expressed his gratitude for the Solicitor General’s assistance to police personnel who might face prosecution while preforming their duties.

SolGen Jose Calida also signed the Office Order of the Organized “Task Force PNP” which will guard and protect the rights of the policemen in the country.

“You are the solicitor. I am the general. Together, we are the solicitor general,” Gen. Dela Rosa said jokingly.

“Acts like this would farther embolden our police officers to continue our drive against drugs, criminality and corruption. It has been long gone that we are deprived of these support, we have been telling ourselves even before, pull your own tail,” he added.

The Office of the Solicitor General and the Integrated Bar of the Philippines will grant free legal assistance to hundreds of policemen

Aside from the IBP Central Office, the IBP-Pangasinan also gave their commitment to the Office of the Solicitor General.

“We are happy that the IBP-Pangasinan Chapter was the first to signify their full support to the policemen who will be charged with offenses committed in their line of their duty in the war against drugs,” Calida said.

“We acknowledge that these police officers are in their performance of their duties. We felt that we are also duty-bound to provide free legal assistance to them so they will not fear in the performance of their duties especially this is in support of the cause of our President Duterte,” said IBP-Pangasinan President Atty. Baby Ruth Torre.

Meanwhile, the PNP Chief expressed his dismay over abusive policemen and agreed that they should be charged and punished in accordance to the law.

“Unlike here that they are the ones oppressing people, they are abusing poor people. They arrest the innocent, and extort them. After a week or a month, if they see the person has money again, they will go back and extort again. Turning them into a cash cow,” Dela Rosa said.

“That’s how frustrated I am with what is happening. It is very annoying. I am really angry with this. There are a lot of policemen like these nowadays. I am not surprised anymore.” he added further.


Pamahalaan, Hiniling sa Korte Suprema na Alisin ang TRO sa Cybercrime Prevention Law

admin   •   December 12, 2012

FILE PHOTO: Supreme Court (UNTV News)

MANILA, Philippines — Ipinagtanggol ng Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) ang legalidad ng kontrobersiyal na Cyber Crime Prevention Law.

Ayon sa OSG, layunin lamang ng RA-10175 na putulin at labanan ang kasamaan ng cybercrimes at hindi nito sinusupil ang freedom of speech at expression.

Hiniling ng OSG sa Korte Suprema na i-dismiss ang labinlimang petisyon laban sa Cybercrime Prevention Act at alisin na ang temporary restraining order (TRO) na pumipigil sa pagpapatupad nito.

Sa ngayon ay nananatiling epektibo ang TRO ng Supreme Court sa implementasyon ng nasabing batas.

Nakatakda namang pagdebatehan sa oral arguments sa Enero 15 sa susunod na taon ang legalidad ng kontrobersiyal na batas. (UNTV News)


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