Lawmakers stand with Maria Ressa, Duterte admin: 'mabagsik sa media, tuta ng mandarambong' says Hontiveros - The Daily Sentry

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Lawmakers stand with Maria Ressa, Duterte admin: 'mabagsik sa media, tuta ng mandarambong' says Hontiveros

Composite photo fo Sen. Kiko Pangilinan, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and Sen. Risa Hontiveros (from Politiko and Inquirer)

Manila, Philippines – Opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros on Monday condemned the issuance of warrant against Rappler Holdings CEO Maria Ressa, as she calls it an attempt by the Duterte administration to silence its critics.

In a press conference, the senator said the government is doing 'harass the dissenters, protect the plunderers' policy.

Arrest against Ressa, an attempt to silence critics

"The Duterte administration is implementing a 'harass the dissenters, protect the plunderers' policy. The issuance of a warrant of arrest against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is yet another attempt by the Duterte government not only to silence dissent, but also to muzzle the media into fear,"  Hontiveros said

Hontiveros also alleged that President Rodrigo Duterte wants to control the free flow of information in the country.

“In his attempt to be a full-fledged authoritarian, President Duterte wants to control the free flow of information and neutralize a potential channel of criticism,” she added.

Preferential treatment for Imelda Marcos

She maintained that the administration is extending efforts to intimidate critics and siding to someone like Imelda Marcos.

“The Duterte government exerts ridiculous efforts to legally intimidate and even jail political dissenters while giving preferential treatment to the likes of Imelda Marcos, even going so far as to mask it as due process and compassion,” she said.

“Mabagsik sa media at oposisyon, pero maamong tuta naman sa mga mandarambong,” she added.

With this, Hontiveros called on the public and members of the press to “close ranks in defending the rights” of Ressa.

“Now more than ever, we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated into silence,” Hontiveros said.


Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan on the other hand, said that issuance of warrant of arrest against Ressa was a government-orchestrated move to silence another government critic.

“We have seen this play before: Characters and institutions are verbally attacked. Reputations besmirched. Threats of arrest, and even issuances of warrants, at night or on the weekend against the critics of this administration,” Pangilinan said

“Sometimes they succeed, as with Sen. De Lima, Chief Justice Sereno, and Sr. Pat,” he added

“But sometimes, we are able to hold the line, with the amnesty revocation concerning Sen. Trillanes and the conviction of the policemen in Kian’s murder,” the Liberal Party president also said

“Attacking critics and persecuting them through abuse of institutions must not be tolerated. We urge the courts to let due process take its course for Maria Ressa,” he said.

“We condemn the threats, accusations, and harassments against her. We stand with Maria Ressa as she continues to hold the line,”the senator added

Ressa on Monday posted a P60,000-bail at Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 265 after her voluntary surrender to the court.

Rappler and Ressa face four cases of tax evasion as filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) allegedly for breaching Section 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997.

Source: Inquirer, Politiko