WHETHER Malacañang has the legal right to lock out Rappler news reporter Pia Ranada and CEO Maria Ressa from Malacañang is obscured by the ugly light it casts on a government committed to openness and transparency. Besides, what can it hide from other media that it can by excluding Rappler?
No other president, Palace watchers say, has slammed its door on a news reporter since the Marcos authoritarian regime.
An individual reporter may be shut out from covering a public official but journalist’s news organization may send a replacement. The Cebu City mayor once banned a news reporter from City Hall, but another journalist from his outlet took his place. In another occasion, he banned the reporter but allowed his tape recorder to get into the press-con.
As to the charge of violation of corporate law against Rappler, it shouldn’t affect the news media’s right of access to public information, which is guaranteed by a law higher than the SEC statute. Besides, the decision has not yet become final and is still pending in the appellate court.--Pachico A. Seares, executive director, Cebu Citizens-Press Council [CCPC]
DPWH asphalting work
The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) has been using asphalt to cover potholes and moon craters on our roads but the work is so bad many vehicle owners are complaining.
The patching job seems to have been assigned to amateurs because the asphalt surfaces are rough, which is obvious when vehicles pass over them.
Covering potholes and moon craters is meant to to make the roads better. But in this case, while the holes have been covered, the road surface has become bad.--Tereso Alviola of Cebu City