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Rappler asks SC to lift order banning them from events with Duterte

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ONLINE NEWS site Rappler asked the Supreme Court (SC) to stop the government from enforcing President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s order banning its reporters from covering any event the President attends. In a press release, Rappler said its reporters and managers filed the petition, claiming that the ban curtails the constitutional right of the press to cover, report, and access newsworthy public events. “The prohibition is based on a personal determination by the executive branch that Rappler or its journalists are ‘liars’ or peddlers of ‘fake news’ — a determination which has no basis in law, and effectively creates another layer of government regulation of the press,” it said. On Feb. 20, 2018, Rappler’s Palace reporter, Patricia Marie I. Ranada, was barred by the Presidential Security Guard from entering Malacañang. This ban was then expanded to all events attended by the President, and applied to all Rappler reporters, including correspondents in the provinces. Mr. Duterte issued a formal order on March 1, 2018, citing that Rappler twists and presents what he said differently. Presidential Spokesperson Salvador S. Panelo, reacting to Rappler’s SC petition, said, “It’s a free country. We do not interfere with the judiciary.” — Vann Marlo M. Villegas