Bulatlat asks court to overturn NTC’s order to block websites

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An image posted by Bulatlat on Facebook.

A month after the government moved to block Bulatlat from the internet, the alternative outlet on Friday sought court intervention asking it to overturn the memorandum issued by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC), which ordered providers of Internet services in the country to restrict access to its site and that of several others.

Bulatlat filed a civil suit in the Quezon City Regional Magistrate’s Court, through his legal counsel from the National Union of People’s Lawyers (NUPL), seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order and /or a writ of preliminary injunction on June 8 from the NTC. memorandum.

Bulatlat, as plaintiff, used its registered name Alipato Media Center Inc.

Without legal authorization

In its 11-page complaint, the independent news agency argued that the NTC’s order was ultra vires or made without legal authority.

The respondents named were the NTC, the National Security Council, and former national security adviser Hermogenes Esperon Jr., who asked the NTC to block Bulatlat’s websites as well as 27 other sites, such as Pinoy Weekly’s. , progressive groups and self-exiles. Communist leader Jose Maria Sison.

In making the request, Esperon claimed that “Communist terrorist groups” were making their presence online through these websites, therefore calling for the immediate blocking of these domains.

They said there was nothing under Executive Order No. 546 of 1979, which created the NTC, Republic Act No. 7925 of 1995, or the Public Telecommunications Policy Act, which gave to the NTC the power to block websites as outlined in its memorandum last month without first obtaining a court order.

“Being ultra vires, the NTC’s order to Philippine ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to block Bulatlat.com, the other websites listed in … Esperon’s demand letter, which were an integral part of the memorandum in question, is illegal,” the complaint read. “As such, it must be struck down by this court.”

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