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Wednesday, September 18, 2019
MANILA

Presidential coverage ban vs. Rappler stays, says Palace

PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte's order to prohibit Rappler reporters from covering all presidential events will not be lifted even with the Supreme Court acting on the online news outfit's petition, Malacañang said on Thursday, August 15.

"Hindi (No)," Presidential Spokesperson Salvador said in an interview with Palace reporters, when asked if Palace was considering the lifting of the presidential coverage ban on Rappler.

Panelo issued the statement after the Supreme Court en banc resolution dated July 30 gave Malacañang 10 days to comment on a petition lodged by Rappler against the presidential coverage ban.

A copy of the resolution was released on Wednesday, August 14.

Panelo said the Palace would let the Office of the Solicitor General (SolGen), as the government's lawyer, to respond to the Rappler's petition.

"We'll leave it to the SolGen. That's his duty and job to respond," he said. "We will not preempt the SolGen. He's the lawyer who will be representing these respondents and he will do what is required for him to do."

The Palace official, however, made it clear that there was "no violation" committed by the executive branch, "simply because the Rappler is not being stopped from writing stories, even against the government."

But he likewise acknowledged that the high court has the final say on whether Rappler reporters should be once again given access to Duterte's activities.

"There is no stopping anybody, reporter, journalist or everyone from covering the events in Malacañang because it is open, it is not restricted. There are many ways by covering an event and in fact, they've been doing that. And we've been reading articles coming from Rappler. So there is no violation whatsoever.l," he said.

"They want to lift the ban. 'Yun nga ang issue, the issue is precisely whether or not the Palace has the right to ban a particular reporter in the place where the President is. Iyan ang issue. Let us see how the Supreme Court will resolve... Pabayaan na natin ang Supreme Court. Nandiyan na eh. Atsaka maganda rin 'yun to enrich jurisprudence. That's it," Panrlo added.

(They want to lift the ban. That's the issue, the issue is precisely whether or not the Palace has the right to ban a particular reporter in the place where the President is. That's the issue. Let us see how the Supreme Court will resolve... Let the Supreme Court fo its job. The case is pending there. And it's good to enrich jurisprudence. That's it.)

Dutere has slammed Rappler for its supposed biased reporting.

In April, Rappler reporter Pia Ranada and her fellow Rappler journalists asked the high court to stop the illegal coverage ban, which they claimed constitutes prior restraint and subsequent punishment considered as a violation of their right to freedom of speech and expression.

Ranada was first barred from entering Malacañang premises in June 2018 and was later prohibited from covering to all presidential events.

The ban was also extended to all Rappler reporters, including correspondents in the provinces. (SunStar Philippines)


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