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SolGen: Failure of accreditation led to Rappler’s Palace coverage ban

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Since Rappler’s certification of incorporation has been revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Solicitor General Jose Calida said the online news site cannot be considered a legitimate news organizations.

Calida pointed this out in its comment that was submitted before the Supreme Court (SC) as he defended Malacanang’s decision to ban Rappler and its reporters including Pia Ranada from news coverage.

“Following the SEC Decision, the IPC (International Press Center) denied Ranada’s application for renewal of accreditation. Consequently, the Media Accreditation and Relations Office (MARO) denied Ranada physical access in all events attended by the President,” the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) said in a statement on Thursday (Sept. 26).

“Under the IPC and MARO accreditation rules, a legitimate media entity must be accredited in order to cover the President. Even the Malacañang Press Corps (MPC) By-laws require, among others, that to be a member of the MPC, it must be duly-recognized by the Presidential Communications Operations Office as a bona fide media organization, duly-accredited by the IPC and duly-registered at the SEC. Here, Rappler simply failed to meet these accreditation requirements, hence, the non-renewal of its (or Ranada’s) accreditation to cover Malacañang,” it explained.

The OSG filed the comment upon the orders of the SC which received a petition from Rappler which asked that Malacanang lift the ban against it.

The petition named as respondents the Office of the President, Office of the Executive Secretary, Presidential Communications Operations Office, Media Accreditation Office and Presidential Security Group.

The petitioners argued that “such a ban violates the constitutional guarantees of press freedom, free speech, due process and, equal protection under the 1987 Constitution.”

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