Sen. Vicente Yap Sotto: The Protector of Press Freedom

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Sen. Vicente Yap Sotto, The Protector of Press Freedom

Senator Vicente Yap Sotto is considered one of the Unsung Heroes of the Philippines. WikiPilipinas refers to Senator Vicente Sotto as one of the so-called “Forgotten” People in Philippine history – people who, unfortunately, were not given much attention in traditional studies and mainstream histories, but are equally heroic in their own simple yet significant ways.


Senator Vicente Y. Sotto was the main author of the Press Freedom Law (now known as the Sotto Law, Republic Act No. 53) enacted in 1946. The Sotto Law protects journalists from being compelled to name their news sources.

"The Sotto Law, also known as the Press Freedom Law, is aimed precisely to protect press freedom and keep irate politicians from intimidating journalists and their sources if they do not like what they read," the NUJP pointed out.

The life story of Senator Vicente Yap Sotto encompasses a great deal of Philippine history. He was an active participant in the great debates and events of our history: the anti-Spanish revolution, the U.S. colonial rule, the Philippine Independence campaign, Japanese occupation and the postwar dilemmas of collaboration.

Vicente Yap Sotto (1877–1950) was a Filipino politician and former Senator of the Philippines.Senator Vicente Yap Sotto was the main author of the Press Freedom Law (now known as the Sotto Law, Republic Act No. 53).

Sotto was born in Cebu City on April 18, 1877 to Marcelino Sotto and Pascuala Yap. He finished his secondary education at the University of San Carlos (formerly Colegio de San Carlos), Cebu City. He obtained the degree of Bachelor of Laws and Judicial Science and passed the bar examinations in 1907.

In 1902, Senator Sotto entered politics when he ran for the municipal council of Cebu and won. In 1907, he was elected mayor despite his absence during the election owing to his involvement in a court battle caused by a...
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