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Oksi Rep. Sato gives powerful lecture on press freedom during ABS-CBN franchise hearing

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Occidental Mindoro Rep. Josephine Ramirez-Sato gave a powerful lecture on freedom of speech and of the press during the hearing on ABS-CBN franchise yesterday.

Sato said that the House panels should now discuss the alleged bias on the new coverage of the network as it would be tantamount to “prior restraint” on the freedom of the press.

“I strongly believe that to discuss the alleged bias in the hearing of the application for the renewal of the franchise is tantamount to prior restraint on press freedom, and is violative of what is enshrined in our Constitution, in the long line of jurisprudence, and in international convention,” Sato told her fellow lawmakers.

Sato said that as lawmakers it is their duty to uphold and defend the constitution in all of their legislative processes.

“The freedom of speech and of the press, which we are legally and morally bound by our oath to protect, in all our legislative processes, goes to the very soul and essence of our democracy, which will have an impact, a strong impact in the future of our beloved country. So, we must, at all times, protect the freedom of the press,” he said.

The House of Representatives continues to hear the franchise renewal bills of the network. It will resume hearing on Thursday.