Thu. May 26th, 2022

The National Press Club (NPC), the country’s oldest media organization, is not alone in its fight against a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Commission on Elections (Comelec) and news website Rappler Inc.

(rappler.com)

This, after the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan’s (PDP Laban) senatorial aspirants backed the petition filed by the NPC and two civil society groups, seeking a writ of mandamus from the Supreme Court (SC) to block the Comelec-Rappler deal.

Former presidential legal counsel and spokesperson, Salvador Panelo said the MOA precisely is “an outrageous collusion” between the Comelec and Rappler.

He advised the poll body to admit its blunder and immediately revoke the deal to save it from further embarrassment as the news website is a foreign entity.

“It is (MOA) outrageous because there are reasons why Rappler is said to be the least trusted news organization based on a recent survey,” Panelo said in a news release on Thursday.

Broadcaster and senatorial aspirant Rey Langit, himself a member of the NPC, said the MOA is violative of the Constitution and onerous to the government, adding the poll body should not be bound by one media entity only.

For House Deputy Speaker Rodante Marcoleta, the Comelec’s decision to suspend the MOA is the first step towards a more consultative and bigger collaboration with the Filipino people to attain clean and credible elections in 2022.

On Wednesday, the NPC along with the Guardians Brotherhood and Automated Election System (EAS System) filed their petition, seeking a writ of mandamus from the SC to compel the Comelec to implement digital signatures for the May 9 polls, disclose critical information and allow access of political parties, candidates, accredited media and other organizations to the poll body’s processes.

The groups also asked the SC for the Comelec to allow access and inspection of the printing of ballots at the National Printing Office (NPO), including the examination of the ballots already printed without the presence of observers.

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