Sen. Bam Aquino condemned the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer (CEO) Maria Ressa, calling it a government ploy to silence its critics, including journalists.
“Malinaw na pananakot ito sa mga kritiko ng administrasyon,” said Sen. Bam, adding that the arrest of Ressa is a big blow to press freedom, which he calls as an important pillar of democracy in our country.
“Lubha akong nababahala sa dagok na ito sa malayang pamamahayag. Mahalagang haligi ng demokrasya ng ating bansa ang press freedom,” emphasized Sen. Bam, who is running under the Otso Diretso slate.
“Kapag napilay ang demokrasya, mamemeligro ang mga karapatan at kalayaan ng mamamayan,” the senator added.
Ressa was arrested by elements of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) for cyber-libel for an article published by Rappler in May 2012 or four months before the Cybercrime Prevention Act was enacted.