Viral | Sotto asks Inquirer.net to take down stories on Pepsi Paloma

Is it possible to wipe out the not-so-ideal stories about you online? Well, Senator Tito Sotto is giving it a try. Basically, he wants the Pepsi Paloma rape case to stop haunting him.

In a June 16 Facebook post, journalist Rodel Rodis revealed: “Senate President Tito Sotto has ‘requested’ the Philippine Daily Inquirer to remove from its website all the articles I wrote about him (‘The Rape of Pepsi Paloma‘ and ‘Was Pepsi Paloma Murdered?‘). If the Inquirer agrees to his requests, a dangerous precedent will be set. Sotto is cyberbullying the Inquirer.”

PRIB photo by Joseph Vidal/05 July 2017

Rodis also posted photos of Sotto’s two-page letter (dated May 29, 2018) — which is addressed to Inquirer Interactive Inc. president and chair Paolo Prieto. The letter also cites another article to be taken down — “Tito Sotto Denies Whitewashing Pepsi Paloma Rape Case” by Totel V. de Jesus.

Part of Sotto’s letter reads:

“These kinds of unverified articles have been negatively affecting my reputation for the longest time. My efforts to clarify my side were somewhat ineffectual by reason of the afore-cited articles were shared by your readers to the social media, and those readers who knew nothing about the issue took them as the version of truth considering that those reports came from a well-trusted company like Inquirer.net.”

Sotto goes on to say that he was simply making an appeal and not trampling on the Inquirer’s freedom of speech. He pointed: “In fact, I am with you in protecting those constitutionally enshrined rights when I filed a bill amending Republic Act No. 53, which exempts publisher, editor, reporter from revealing the source of published news or information obtained in confidence, a law championed by my grandfather Vicente Yap Sotto. Just like everyone, I am for the truth — a ‘balanced news,’ so to speak.”

Just six hours after Rodis posted about the matter, it had been shared 4,868 times.

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