Senator Ramon "Bong" Revilla Jr. has called on the government to go slow on journalists as he pushed for decriminalization of libel.
Revilla, chairman of the Senate committee on public information, noted the growing apprehension among mediamen this administration "slowly" curtails press freedom in the country.
"There are reports that are really damaging and not adhering to the principles of responsible journalism. But that’s not enough reason to suppress the press,” he said in a statement on Thursday.
The "apparent series of arrest of journalists,” Revilla said, justified the need to decriminalize libel to address the "dilemma" of journalists, who are threatened with imprisonment for doing their job.
"As a chairman of the Senate committee on public information and mass media, I am pushing in the Senate the decriminalization of libel, alongside with the proposed measures to guarantee an individual's right to reply," he said.
"But right now, the government should take it easy with journalists, who have been convicted or accused of libel," Revilla added.