Comelec-Rappler deal suspension an 'attack on press freedom' -- group


The Commission on Election's (Comelec) temporary suspension on its partnership with news website Rappler is an "attack on press freedom" a group said Saturday, March 12.

On March 8, the poll body halted its partnership with Rappler, a day after the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a petition before the Supreme Court seeking to nullify the deal.

In a statement, the Council for People's Development and Governance (CPDG) asserted that the partnership is a "media responsibility to ascertain honest and clean elections," and noted that Rappler has been partnering with the poll body since 2013.

"In the current political climate, any attack on media is critical to be emphasized. As we gear towards the 2022 elections, an attack to press freedom is an attack on transparency in this very crucial election," CPDG said.

The group likewise amplified calls against disinformation and propaganda and called for clean and honest elections.

"More so, we amplify the fight against state attack and impunity. Blatant attack to the press, reprimanded by the state and its agents, only shows that their priority revolves around fascist rule instead of legitimate calls for people's education, health, and economy," CPDG stressed.

"Hence, if the putative election watchdog has turned into a lapdog, journalists and civil society bear the obligation and responsibility to serve and safeguard the sanctity of the polls and our ballots."