By ALYSSA MAE CLARIN
MANILA — Alternative news media outfit Bulatlat.com filed a petition of indirect contempt of court against the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) for defying the court’s decision to unblock the website following the granting of the writ of preliminary injunction.
In its decision dated August 11, Quezon City Regional Trial Court-Branch 306 granted Bulatalt’s petition against NTC’s June 8 memo with the condition that the media outfit should post a bond amounting to one hundred thousand pesos (100,000.00) to cover the damages that could be incurred for the reason of the injunction.
Bulatlat was able to raise the bond after conducting an online fundraising campaign, seeking the help of its readers and supporters. The media outfit was able to post the bond on August 15, a few days after the injunction plea was granted.
The order was then served to the NTC after two days, per the Sheriff’s return copy of the order.
However, Bulatlat said their (dot)com domain remains blocked and inaccessible to its editorial staff and readers using Philippine-based internet service providers like Globe, Converge, PLDT, and Smart.
“The petitioner humbly submits that the continued blocking of its website for more than 48 hours after respondent NTC has been officially served with the writ of preliminary injunction is an outright and inexcusable act of defying a lawful order of the Honorable Court,” the petition read.
Bulatlat said the continuing blocking is a violation of their right to publish and inform the people of relevant news.
Bulatlat managing editor Ronalyn Olea said that the outfit’s decision to seek for the issuance of a preliminary injunction because NTC’s order for blocking had caused the outfit grievous injury.
“I see the NTC’s action as an outright defiance of our independent judiciary. This is an assault not only on Bulatlat.com but also on the public’s right to access credible sources of information,” said Olea. (JJE, RTS)