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Rappler case not press freedom issue: UP prof says media under Duterte is ‘too free, almost licentious’

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A political analyst on Saturday said the press in the country is “too free and almost licentious”, a day after a ranking United States official raised the importance of press freedom in the Philippines.

“As you can see in all media, in social media, in print, broadcast, in radio, one can use (say) all sorts of bad things to the President and other leaders and one does not go to jail. I’m sure they cannot do that in other countries,” said political analyst Clarita Carlos, a professor at the University of the Philippines faculty.

On Friday, State Secretary Michael Pompeo raised the importance of protecting the rights and liberties of all Filipinos, including free speech, a free press, and due process under the law when he met Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. for a bilateral meeting in Manila.

Last month, the US embassy in Manila also issued a statement underlining the need for due process on the cyber libel case against Rappler head Maria Ressa.

Carlos said Ressa’s case “has little to do with free press but has a lot to do with the organization.”

“I think you should point that out to foreign people who are making that kind of remarks,” Carlos said. (PNA)

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