The tax evasion and cyber libel cases filed against news organization Rappler were attacks on a free press that proved the country had fallen into authoritarian rule under President Rodrigo Duterte's government, Senator Leila de Lima said in a Saturday statement.

“The Duterte government’s hostility against Rappler is a classic trademark of a vindictive and tyrannical government telling media to toe the line,” De Lima wrote.

“This is a clear case of harassment and persecution, not just of Rappler, but of media in general,” she added.

The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) had earlied announced that it was filing a cyberlibel complaint against Rappler over a 2012 news article in which  a businessman was linked to drug crimes.

This cyberliber case was followed by a Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) tax evasion complaint in which Rappler was accused of failing to pay P133.84 million in taxes.

De Lima argued that these cases, plus the Security and Exchanges Commission’s (SEC) decision to revoke the news organization’s licence to operate and the Palace's ban on Rappler reporter Pia Ranada, ammounted to an attmept to "tame" a free press and was a “jugular attack” on Filipinos’ democratic rights and fundamental freedoms.

“Ang pag-atake sa media kasama ang kasalukuyang pagpipilit ng gobyernong tanggalin sa Supreme Court si Chief Justice (Maria Lourdes) Sereno at ang aking unjust detention ay malinaw na patunay na tayo ngayon ay nakapailalim na sa isang 'authoritarian regime' kahit walang pormal na deklarasyon ng Martial Law sa buong bansa,” she added.
Fits the bill

De Lima went on to call Duterte a “psychopathic dictator" and an "incorrigible despot” which she said manifested in incessant acts of aggression and savagery against the democratic opposition and independent institutions.

“Sinisimot nya ang ating demokrasya. Sinasaid nya ang ating mga karapatan,” she said.

Moreover, according to the senator, the president’s actions matched the behavior of an authoritarian based on the book “How Democracies Die” authored by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt. 

She said an authoritarian was defined in the text as someone who “rejects the democratic rules of the game; denies the legitimacy of political opponents; tolerates or encourages violence; and is ready to curtail civil liberties of adversaries and critics — including media.

“Duterte, as a present-day demagogue, definitely fits the bill.”

De Lima is currently detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City over drug charges.

So what can you say about this one? Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below, and don't forget to share this post to your family and friends online. And also, visit our website more often for more updates.

[SOURCE]- Margaret Claire Layug

Disclaimer: Contributed articles does not reflect the view of FRESHNEWSTODAY. This website cannot guarantee the legitimacy of some of the information contributed to us. You may do additional research if you find some information doubtful. No part of this article maybe reproduced without permission from this website.


No comments

Powered by Blogger.