Opposition Senator Francis Pangilinan on Wednesday called on Filipinos to protest the arrest of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and tell the authorities they stand for truth, justice and free expression.
Pangilinan, the president of the opposition Liberal Party, called Ressa's arrest as a clear case of harassment of yet another critic of the administration.
"Inuunti-unti at dinadahan-dahan ang bawat institusyong maaaring tumindig laban sa pang-aabuso ng kapangyarihan. Kailangang palagan ito—bawat pulgada, bawat hakbang na may nangyayaring ganito, kailangan nating magsalita, magbuklod, sabihin sa mga nasa poder," Pangilinan said.
"Hindi kami papayag, at hindi nag-iisa si Maria. Kailangan nating gumuhit at sabihing nasa panig tayo ng katotohanan at katarungan. Nasa panig tayo ng malayang pamamahayag. Nasa panig tayo ni Maria Ressa," he added
Pangilinan, the chair of the Senate Committee on Constitutional Amendments and Revision of Laws, compared Ressa to fellow LP member Leila De Lima, a staunch critic of President Rodrigo Duterte who had been detained on drug charges since 2017.
"This is a clear case of the powerful harassing those whose duty is to keep them in check," Pangilinan said of Ressa's arrest.
"Like our partymate Sen. Leila de Lima before her, Maria Ressa now stands as a beacon of speaking truth to power, and upholding the very principles that make us a modern, democratic nation," he added. —NB, GMA News