Malacañang on Monday said that there is probable cause to file a case against online news outlet Rappler, and denied manufacturing bogus charges to get back at social media organization which have been critical of the Duterte administration.
Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said the media entity must face the consequences of violating the law, for not paying tax on the income it gained from Philippine Depositary Receipts issued in 2015.
“The issue simply is: has Rappler violated the law? The Department of Justice has found probable cause hence a case was filed against the media outlet,” Panelo said in a statement.
The Palace spokesperson also denied that there was any intimidation in filing the case, insisting that Rappler violated a law.
“Under the Duterte administration, obedience to the law is not, and cannot be an option. No one is above the law,” Panelo said.
“Everyone or every entity is accountable for every transgression of the law. No one is exempted, rich or poor, powerful or weak. Friendship, fraternal and political ties, as well as blood relationship, do not matter to this President,” the Palace official added.
“If you violate the law, then you cannot escape the wrath of its punishment. Dura lex, sed lex. The law may be harsh, but it is the law,” Panelo added.