41 journalists ask SC to lift Duterte’s coverage ban vs Rappler
MANILA, Philippines — Forty-one journalists from different news organizations on Tuesday filed a petition for intervention asking the Supreme Court (SC) to lift President Rodrigo Duterte’s coverage ban against online news site Rappler.
The petition was lodged before the high court after Rappler filed a petition questioning Duterte’s coverage ban against them last April 11.
The petitioners, headed by former SC spokesman and human rights lawyer Ted Te, explained that while they are not directly affected by the ban, the “nature of the President’s ban on coverage is sufficiently expansive and elastic that their rights under Article III, section 4 have already been abridged.”
“While petitioners-in-intervention have not been physically barred from reporting on the President’s activities, the ban articulated by the President in his March 1, 2018 speech is already in place and it extends not only to Rappler and to its reporters and staff but also to any journalist who would write or broadcast anything that the President deems to be ‘fake news’,” the petition reads.
Among those who signed the petition include President Emeritus of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) Dr. Florangel Braid; former Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility executive editor Melinda Quintos de Jesus; broadcaster Tina Monzon Palma; former Inquirer Online editor-in-chief John Nery; TV host and Philippine Daily Inquirer columnist Solita Monsod; TV host and documentarist Atom Araullo; TV reporter Raffy Tima; and former Malacañang Press Corps member and Philippine Daily Inquirer reporter Marlon Ramos.
The petition states that the coverage ban against Rappler was imposed on February 20, 2018 when Malacañang reporter Pia Ranada was barred from entering the Palace premises.
The said ban reportedly stemmed from the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on the alleged foreign ownership of Rappler.
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