DAVAO CITY, Philippines — President Rodrigo R. Duterte temporarily suspends Malacañang’s media accreditation issued to Rappler, which in effect prohibits Pia Ranada and Maria Ressa to enter Malacañang Complex and to cover the activities of the President.
In lieu of this development, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, emphasized “Rappler still has the right to write, anything they want to say, they can write news out of the live coverage from Radio Television Malacañang feeds and the facebook feeds, except that they cannot interview him.”
Roque, in an interview with Danniel Razon’s morning show at UNTV, stressed “Rappler has all th right to write what they wanted to write, except that they are not allowed to enter Malacañang and cover the President.”
The ban, however, is viewed by some media organizations as an afront to press freedom.
The National Union of Journalist in the Philippines in a strongly worded statement stated “Shame on President Rodrigo Duterte for displaying extreme pettiness in ordering Rappler reporter Pia Ranada banned from entering Malacañang Palace.”
Rappler in an statement said “It’s another instance of power attempting to intimidate independent journalists.”
On Tuesday, Duterte through Jhopee Avanceña, head of Malacañang’s Internal House Affairs Office (IHAO), confirmed that the orderwas from the President.
Ranada is among the accredited members of the Malacañang Press Corps, the members are given the privilege to attend the press briefings and to cover the activities of the President both local and foreign.
The ban does not only apply to Randa but extends to Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa.
Rappler noted, “It is the first time, post-Marcos, that a duly-elected president has banned particular journalists from entering the Palace.”
In announcing the ban, Roque cited “Rappler had effectively lost its SEC registration – and its Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) membership – when the SEC ordered the revocation of its business license.”
But Rappler said the ruling was under appeal and was not yet final and excutory.
Roque even went on describing “Hindi ko maintindihan si (Pia) Ranada, mar sariling mundo sya).
Asked if Ranada is being singled out, Roque admitted “single out sya, lumabas na ang katotohanan, pumilit pa rin.”
He added “ayaw ni president sa kanya kapag ang news source ayaw na sa iyo, wala ka ng magawa, Ayaw na ni President sa kanya, sa Malacañang full stop,” he added “sa tingin ng Presidente, fake news ang Rappler.”-Editha Z. Caduaya/Newsline.ph
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