In the last few days, Rappler has been making noise and putting the blame on President Rodrigo Duterte after SEC handed out a 29-page issue that revoked its registration.
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque sat down in an interview with ANC’s Karen Davila where he explained that Rappler violated the consitutional ban on foreign ownership in media by selling Philippine depository rights (PDR) to the founder of foreign company eBay Pierre Omidyar and Ressa thought that she could evade the responsibilities for her offense.
“She wanted to skirt prohibition and still enable her to raise funds from aboard. But she was wrong, you can’t question the jurisdiction of the SEC,”
“Chairman Herbosa and all but one commissioners of SEC are not appointees of the President, they’re appointees of the former President,”
Regarding the statement of Maria Ressa where she accused the government of meddling with the decision of SEC against Rappler, Harry Roque said that he found it “foul”.
“You don’t do that, no one told her to establish this kind of corporate arrangement, she chose to do this and she should have known better because of the constitutional prohibition,”
“So please, her ill-doing should not be attributed to the government and that’s why I’m a bit of uncomfortable because the number one tenet of journalism is dedication to the truth. What evidence that she have, that the government orchestrated this decision? None, given the credibility of the persons who wrote the decision,”
Another line that Roque found out of line was when Maria Ressa said that the government was targeting Rappler to allegedly silence them.
Roque also said that Ressa must be the first one to comply with the law because her habit is to criticize people when they violate the constitution.
“My point is you’re a news agency and you will exercise public trust. You criticize people when they violate the laws of Constitution, why can’t you comply with the Constitution? What makes you so special or you want a special rule for yourself because you are in the profession of journalism. Should not journalists, like lawyers, be the first to comply with the law?”
Roque said that what happened to Rappler is not a part of the media crackdown, but is in fact a reminder to journalists that they too should comply with the law.
Source: Pinoy Trending