On Wednesday night, the stories tackling the decade-long stories of the alleged rape of Pepsi Paloma, a 1980’s actress who accused Vic Sotto, Joey de Leon and Ritchie D’ Horsey of raping her when she was a minor, were no longer accessible in the website of Inquirer.net.
The articles disclosed the alleged involvement of Senate President Vicente Sotto III in the rape case.
Sotto handed a letter requesting Inquirer to take down articles regarding the mysterious case and death of Pepsi Paloma. Inquirer, on their part, also released an official statement regarding the matter and according to a follow-up report, Abelardo S. Ulanday, the editor-in-chief of the media organization, saying the Senate President has the right to do so.
Sotto cited reasons that the published articles have “unverified facts” and “baseless allegations” over the mysterious case of Paloma. Moreover, Sotto said that the articles linking him to the mysterious death of Paloma were the “original fake news”.
Inquirer. net, the online arm of the national broadsheet Philippine Daily Inquirer, said in a statement that the articles, which were found worthy of publication four years ago, are now under review.
However the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJCP) on Wednesday evening addressed the removal of the controversial articles of Paloma as “one of the darkest days in the annals of Philippine journalism.”
“At a time when freedom of the press and of expression has come under the worst attacks since the Marcos regime, this humiliating self-censorship betrays not only the spirit in which the Inquirer was founded, it betrays a profession whose practitioners have fended and continue to fight off all attempts to muzzle it even if it has cost our ranks 184 lives since 1986,” NUJP stated.