Malacañang reminds media entities criticizing the government to follow the laws of the land

admin   •   January 17, 2018   •   4625


MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang assured that the government will not close down media organizations critical of the Duterte administration.

However, the Duterte administration reminded media personnel that they are not exempted from following the rules of law.

“No one is exempt from complying with the Constitution and the laws of the land, particularly where you are talking of the media outfit in the exercise of the public trust. Before you criticize others, look into the mirror, look at yourself first,” said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque.

Malacañang’s statement is in response to Rappler news organization’s remarks that the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoking their registration is a violation of the freedom of the press.

Malacañang clarified that the decision was made because of Rappler’s violation of the constitutional provision on foreign equity restriction.

Roque also stressed that for President Rodrigo Duterte, it is not fair to conclude that the revocation is a result of Rappler’s criticising the administration.

“The president found it unfair for Maria Ressa to claim a violation of freedom of the press when according to him Rappler’s been very active criticizing individuals for violating the Constitution and the laws of the land and it turns out that it is by itself violating the Constitution,” said the spokesperson.

The government is also not preventing any journalists of the said entity to exercise their profession.

“We would like to deny that the state has infringed on freedom of the press of Rappler or any of its reporters. Truth is the reporter of Rappler is still in our press briefing. She is not prevented from exercising her profession as a journalist. None of the individuals behind Rappler will be prevented from performing their duties as journalists,” said Roque.

Meanwhile, the National Union of Journalist of the Philippines supports Rappler in their predicament.

Atty. Joyce Clemente, acting chairman of NUJP said based on history, President Duterte is criticizing media outfits and other networks critical of his policies.

“Historically, we can see the government of President Duterte even if we give him the benefit of the doubt, Malacañang has nothing to do with them but he keeps on hitting Rappler, ABS-CBN, Philippine Daily Inquirer,” said the chair.

NUJP also said media must be prepared for any threats against them.

For the National Press Club—the case of Rappler is an issue on the corporation and not on a violation of the freedom of the press.

“They have seen violations and we know that they investigated on this, I think for several months and those are the violations they saw particularly the foreign participation on the Rappler operation,” said National Press Club president Paul Gutierrez. — Rosalie Coz | UNTV News and Rescue



House Bill seeks higher salary, benefits for media workers

Aileen Cerrudo   •   August 2, 2019

House Bill 2476 has been filed in Congress seeking higher salary and additional benefits for media workers in the country.

Based on the security of tenure for media workers, authored by ACT-CIS Party-list Rep. Niña Taduran, the minimum wage for media workers will range from P20,000-P60,000 depending on their position.

Taduran also said the bill will also open for work promotions.

“Hindi po kayo forever magiging PA lang o cameraman lang kung gusto niyo ma-promote pwede, paano? Mage-exam po kayo through this Commission on Media Workers, (You won’t forever be a personal assistant or cameraman. You can be promoted if you want, how? You will take an exam through this Commission on Media Workers),” she said.

The House Bill 2476 will also seek to establish the Commission on Press Freedom and Media Security which will be under the office of the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO).

Media employees, the proposed bill states, will also have opportunities for scholarship grants, exchange programs, and awards.—AAC (with reports from Grace Casin)

Manila LGU presents arrested suspects to the media

Aileen Cerrudo   •   July 15, 2019

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno presenting the three most wanted suspects in the city

The Manila local government unit (LGU) on Monday (July 15) presented to the media arrested suspects, including the three most wanted in the city.

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno gathered the media at the city hall after leading the flag raising ceremony. He then presented three most wanted suspects in Manila including a woman accused of extortion.

Accused Melanie Angeles allegedly belong to an organizer called ‘Bakulaw Group’ and was accused for extorting P500-P1,000 from sidewalk vendors for a vending space.

The three arrested suspects are Irwin Pelina who is wanted for robbery with unnecessary violence, Bob Navarro, and Jason Fullantes who are wanted for rape.

Moreno calls on the faction of organizers who extort money from vendors to leave the city.

“Vendor lang ang hindi yumayaman sa kalye. Organizer ang yumayaman. Sinabi ko na sa inyo, magsipagbalik na kayo sa kani-kaniyang bayan. Hindi na kayo welcome dito, (The vendors are the only ones not earning in the streets, the organizers are. I am telling all of you to go back to your towns. You are not welcome here)” he said.—AAC (with reports from April Cenedoza)

Amal Clooney to represent Rappler’s Maria Ressa

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2019

(L-R) Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and international human rights lawyer Amal Clooney

MANILA, Philippines – International human rights lawyers Amal Clooney and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC will join Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s legal team.

In a statement, Clooney expressed confidence in Maria Ressa as a ‘courageous’ journalist “who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses.”

Ressa is currently facing several criminal cases including tax evasion and cyberlibel.

Together with her team, Clooney promised to protect the rights of journalists in the country with their handling of Ressa’s charges.

“We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ressa said she is ‘delighted’ by Clooney and her team’s willingness to help in her case.

“I have been targeted and attacked simply for being an independent journalist,” Ressa said in a statement.

“I am delighted that Amal Clooney and her team will be representing me at the international level to challenge the violations of my rights and those of the media organization I represent,” the embattled journalist added.

Clooney and Gallagher, both specializing in international law and human rights, are members of the Doughty Street Chambers law firm. – with details from Mai Bermudez


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