Kaso pa more! Panelo says Malacanang won't stop Rappler from suing Duterte

Kaso pa more! Panelo says Malacanang won’t stop Rappler from suing Duterte

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Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Thursday said Malacañang won’t meddle with the judiciary as online news website Rappler filed a petition, asking the Supreme Court to compel the government to allow it to cover President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his events.

“It’s a free country. We do not interfere with the judiciary,” Panelo said in a text message to Palace reporters.

Rappler on Thursday filed a petition for certiorari before the Supreme Court to strike down the ban on presidential coverage imposed on it, arguing that it violates its press freedom and rights to free speech, equal protection, and due process.

The petitioners in the case are Rappler reporters and managers Pia Ranada, Mara Cepeda, Raymon Dullana, Frank Cimatu, Mauricio Victa, Camille Elemia, Ralf Rivas, and Baltazar Lagsa while the Office of the President, Office of the Executive Secretary, the Presidential Communications Operations Office, Media Accreditation Regulatory Office, and the Presidential Security Group are named as respondents.

Rappler was barred from covering Malacañang since February 2018 due to its ownership issue at the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

The SEC earlier said Rappler violated the Constitution’s restriction on foreign ownership of local media but Rappler denied this claim and said it is Filipino-owned.

Duterte earlier said he was “invoking executive action” when he issued a directive to ban Ranada from covering Malacañang events.

Duterte said Rappler’s reporters would be allowed to cover again his events if the SEC would declare Rappler a 100 percent Filipino-owned online news outfit. (PNA)

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