29 March 2019

Election lawyer and senatorial candidate Romulo Macalintal stressed the need to defend press freedom and the Fourth Estate after the latest arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa.

“Sa muling pag-aresto kay Maria Ressa, lalo’t higit nating kailangang paigtingin ang pagtatanggol sa kalayaan sa pamamahayag,” said Macalintal, referring to Ressa’s arrest for alleged violation of the Anti-Dummy Law.

Ressa was arrested upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) based on a warrant issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 265.

“Kitang-kita naman ang ginagawang panggigipit ng pamahalaang ito kay Maria Ressa. Hindi naman siya kriminal ngunit bakit kailangan pang salubungin at arestuhin sa airport,” Macalintal stressed.

According to the election lawyer, members of the media should unite in criticizing this latest act of the government, which he said is a clear affront to press freedom

“Magkaisa sana ang mga kapatid natin sa media at sabay-sabay tuligsain ang patuloy na pananakot ng gobyerno sa mga kritiko nito na nagpapahayag lang ng katotohanan,” Macalintal insisted.###