Outgoing Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday, June 30 expressed her belief that the Securities Exchange Commission's revocation order against Rappler was part of the sinister plan of President Rodrigo Duterte.
"The maliciously timed order to shutdown Rappler has Duterte’s vengeful imprint," de Lima said in a statement.
"It’s no secret, but recently, he also openly admitted that the shutdown of ABS-CBN was his vicious idea," she said.
"So, what is this, saving his last ‘kill-kill-kill’ bullet on press freedom before he finally exits and joins the ranks of markedly corrupt, despotic, politically and economically disruptive, and most crooked politicians in the annals of Philippine history?" the opposition lawmaker pointed out.
De Lima said this latest development on Philippine media simply solidified the Duterte legacy of oppression against critics and media organizations, especially those who are independent and fearless.
"These six years under Duterte have been a total disaster to post-EDSA Philippine democracy, and the havoc continues until the very last day," she said.
"What a way to mark the end of this vindictive and repressive regime!" the detained senator lamented.
De Lima, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration, remains detained as she continues to face charges of involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Though she has repeatedly denied the charges and several witnesses have recanted their testimonies against her, the government, under the new Marcos administration is expected to continue her prosecution.