A netizen created an online petition this Wednesday, October 26, requesting Facebook to shutdown or ban Rappler. According to the petitioner who identified himself as Jack Ong, Rappler has been practicing irresponsible journalism, and are into destabilization and sensationalism rather than journalism, and dubbed the online news site as a political machinery.
“They (Rappler) have been destroying the moral structure and the exceptionalism of the Filipino way of life, one nation secured by rights given to us by the law that secures our freedoms. They destroy family & moral structure, they create crisis leading readers to think that we are governed by despotism.” Jack Ong wrote on his petition at Change.org.
Ong cited a Rappler news report stating that US Ambassador to the Philippines Philip Goldberg had a recent interview with Karen Davila on her ANC’s Headstart, and told her that Senator Alan Peter Cayetano and Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade went to China last June. That time, President Rodrigo Duterte has not yet sworn into office.
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“I also know, and I don’t think this has been revealed publicly, but I know that Senator Cayetano, President Duterte’s running mate, made an unpublicized trip to China in June along with Secretary Tugade.” Goldberg was quoted as saying. Sen. Cayetano admitted the China trip, but Tugade categorically denied it, and sent a text message to Rappler.
“If it is true that Amb. Goldberg said that, then the fabled American ‘intelligence network’ has miserably failed again. Tsismis ‘yan!! (That’s gossip!) I was never in Beijing in June!! Want proof? You can always examine my passport any time.” Sec. Tugade’s text message to Rappler reads. It was later included in their report.
Apparently, Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa have been receiving tons of criticisms especially from Duterte supporters, and are being accused of being bias against the president. Early this month, Rappler reportedly lost 21,000 Facebook followers, 2 days after it attacked Mocha Uson, who has now more than 4.3 million Facebook followers.
As of posting, the online petition against Rappler has 5,293 signatures and the number is increasing rapidly. If you wish to sign the petition, visit this page at Change.org. But for the record, we at TN would like to emphasize that we are not encouraging nor discouraging people to join. However, we believe that everyone has the right to freedom of expression.