Militant solons on Wednesday slammed Solicitor General Jose Calida on his move to ask the Supreme Court for a gag order against those criticizing the Duterte government on their plan to shut down the operations of media giant ABS-CBN.
House Deputy Minority leader and Bayan Muna Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate said that Calida’s move asking the Supreme Court to issue a gag order on the quo warranto case of ABS-CBN is another measure to muzzle critics and the opposition from airing their views on the issue.
“If SolGen Calida cannot take the heat then he should not have filed the harassment quo warranto case in the first place. He should have let Congress do its job in deciding the renewal issue of the ABS-CBN’s franchise,” Zarate said.
“Indeed, this is not just about the issue of renewal of ABS-CBN franchise, but, even involve in large part the issue of freedom of the press and the further shrinking of democratic space in our country. Solgen Calida’s move is emblematic of the administration’s aversion to dissent and criticism,” said Zarate.
For her part, Assistant Minority Leader and ACT Teachers Representative France Castro denounced the gag order filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida against ABS-CBN, saying that this is a desperate move by the tyrannical rule of the Duterte administration to silence critics.
Solicitor General Jose Calida’s move asking the Supreme Court for a gag order on the quo warranto case of ABS-CBN is an attack on the freedom of the press, she said.
“Further, this is a tyrannical move to attack critics and dissenters of the anti-people policies of the Duterte administration,” Castro said.
“Issuing a gag order on the quo warranto case of ABS-CBN is a gag order to the people most especially the critics of this administration. Sol. Gen. Calida should not have filed a quo warranto case if he cannot withstand the disapproval of the people,” Castro added.
“This is a desperate move by the Duterte administration that again takes away what little democratic space the Filipino have left. This administration is so allergic to criticism and dissent, he will silence those who voice out their opposition while he continues to exploit the vulnerable and the weak,” said Castro.
“Attacks on press freedom and freedom of speech must stop. The attempts of the tyrannical rule of the Duterte administration to silence its critics and dissenters will never succeed,” Castro said./Stacy Ang