A blogger who’s known for her pro-Duterte post confronted Risa Hontiveros on Twitter after the lady Senator accused the government of attacking the press freedom for removing the news website Rappler’s license to operate.
According to Hontiveros, the move by Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines (SEC) to remove Rappler is ‘Marcosian’ or an act by a ‘dictator’.
“The revocation of Rappler’s resignation is pure harassment and a clear attack on press freedom. It is also Marcosian. It’s a move straight out of the dictator’s playbook.” Hontiveros said in her tweet.
Hontiveros also urged the public and the media to do an effort to defend the press freedom against the government that she accused of silencing Rappler.
“I urge the public and all media practitioners to defend press freedom & the right to speak truth to power,” she said.
The revocation of Rappler's registration is pure harassment and a clear attack on press freedom. It is also Marcosian. It's a move straight out of the dictator's playbook. I urge the public and all media practitioners to defend press freedom & the right to speak truth to power.
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) January 15, 2018
But pro-Duterte blogger MJ Reyes who’s also a user of Twitter, told Hontiveros to not muddle the issue and she explained to the Senator why the famous news website was shut down by the government.
According to her, the resignation was revoked not because Rappler allegedly sided with the Liberals, but because they violated the foreign ownership restrictions on mass media companies by allegedly selling their control to a foreign entity.
“Don’t muddle the issue. Resignation was revoked not because they belong to your league but because Rappler violated the constitution by selling control to foreign entity,” Reyes said.
Don't muddle the issue. Registration was revoked not because they belong to your league but because Rappler violated the Constitution by selling control to foreign entity. You yak like you know nothing about the law. Go review our Constitution, Senator.
— Mj Reyes (@maanreyes) January 15, 2018
SEC said that Omidyar Network, which owned by Ebay founder Pierre Omidyar invested money to Rappler. However, news website argued that Omidyar only placed money to them so it doesn’t mean that Rappler is already partly owned by the foreign company.
The blogger also said that Hontiveros complained without having a knowledge about the law, so she urged the Senator to review the Philippine Constitution.
“You yak like you know nothing about the law. Go review our Constitution, Senator.” she said.
The tweet of MJ Reyes has gone viral on the internet and she got praised by the netizens who are also critics by Senator Hontiveros.
Several netizens also couldn’t stop themselves in expressing their thoughts about the tweet of Hontiveros.
“I really have no idea whether our senators know our Constitution.” Celso Menjares said, after reading the rebut of MJ Reyes to Senator Hontiveros.
“Pati si “Marcosian” nadamay pa. Just follow SEC regulations. Hontiveros has been yakking about constitution and rules of law but only to serve the self-interests of LPs. Come on, come to your senses Hontiveros. You have been senseless.” Abner Villahermosa remarked.
“As expected, the yellow idiots start spinning Rappler‘s shutdown as an attack on the press, when its continued operation is a blatant violation of our laws; of course, the nitwit Risa Hontiveros doesn’t understand that” Melchor Vergara said.
Despite of the revocation of Rappler’s license, SEC said that the news website can still continue to operate.
“Rappler can continue while the decision is not yet final and executory,” Armand Pan, SEC spokesperson, told GMA News Online. “Rappler can exhaust legal remedies … make an appeal with the Court of Appeals in 15 days. Meanwhile, SEC decision is not final and executory.” SEC said in the decision.