Risa says Walden Bello's critical voice 'essential to democracy'

Senator Risa Hontiveros on Tuesday, Aug. 9 expressed concern over the arrest of former vice presidential candidate and activist Walden Belllo for cyberlibel, as she said "critical voices like his are essential to any democracy".

Hontiveros, an opposition lawmaker, called on President Ferdinand "Bongbong" Marcos Jr's administration to “ensure a fair and transparent investigation” following Bello's arrest on Monday over charges filed by Davao City Information Office Jefry Tupas.

The lady senator said Bello is a "leading public intellectual and steadfast campaigner for justice and human rights".

"While Walden and I could sometimes disagree, he will always have a special place in my heart," Hontiveros said of the ex-congressman.

"Now more than ever, we need more people like him, whose genuine commitment to freedom and democracy is beyond question," she added.