The "Sotto Law"(The Press Freedom Law) , or Republic Act No. 53, protects the publisher, editor, columnist or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation. It also protects the journalist from being compelled to name his news source.  The 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.. 
Vicente Sotto (1877-1950), the author of the Sotto Law, The Press Freedom Law, was a former Senator of the Philippines, and considered as one of the greatest Cebuanos of the 20th century. He was a man of protean accomplishments: "Father of modern Cebuano Literature",prolific writer and publisher, pioneering labor leader, renowned lawyer and quintessential principled politician.
His principal achievement lies in two areas: (1) law, politics, and government; and (2) culture and letters.
Brief Biography of Senator Vicente Yap Sotto
Senator Vicente Sotto was born on April 18, 1877 in Cebu City to Marcelino Sotto and Pascuala Yap. He finished his secondary education at the University of San Carlos (formerly Colegio de San Carlos) in 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 councilorship 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 kidnapping suit lodge against him by his opponent, and was forced to stay in Hongkong. After seven years in the Crown Colony, Senator Sotto decided to return to the country in 1914.
In 1922, he was elected representative of the second district of Cebu until 1925. On November 1946, he ran for Senator and won and served as Chairman of the Senate Committee on Finance until 1950. When he died at the age of 73, his colleagues in the Senate of the Philippines remembered Senator Vicente Sotto as the recalcitrant,principled Sotto:
"The man was like a citadel,impregnable to political whims because strong beliefs formed the bedrock of his whole being (Senator Quintin Paredes);
"A great soldier of democracy and liberal thought"(Senator Tomas Confessor),
"His soul of steel never knew the word 'surrender'(Carlos P. Garcia)
Protection of Sources:Cornerstone of Press Freedom
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) expresses utmost concern over moves by senators to cite a reporter in contempt for refusing to reveal her sources, have a newspaper investigated and, worst, amend or repeal the law protecting confidential news sources.
The Philippine Daily Inquirer last Sunday published a story quoting unnamed sources describing how Sen. Joker Arroyo reportedly blocked the testimony of former Socio-Economic Planning Secretary Romulo Neri during the Senate close-door hearing. Juliet Labog-Javellana wrote the story.
Senator Arroyo filed a resolution yesterday seeking to investigate the Inquirer for publishing the report. Senators Juan Ponce Enrile, Miriam Defensor-Santiago, Benigno Aquino III and Francis Escudero supported Arroyo's resolution. Enrile went further to suggest citing the reporter for contempt unless she revealed her sources. This is intimidation and a violation of the principles of press freedom. This is unacceptable.
Senator Enrile also urged the repeal or amendment of Republic Act No. 53 that protects the publisher, editor, columnist or duly accredited reporter of any newspaper, magazine or periodical of general circulation from being compelled to reveal their 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. Protection of confidential sources of information is also an obligation for journalists and key to getting informants to come forward. This is particularly important in uncovering, among others, corruption in government. If the Press Freedom Law is repealed or weakened, sources would be deterred from coming forward and the public would remain uninformed about vital matters.
The NUJP supports Ms. Labog-Javellana and the Inquirer in their decision not to reveal the identities of the sources. The fact that these shameful actions are being initiated by senators, who should know that protection of journalists' sources is an essential part of press freedom, makes it even more reprehensible.
References: Joe Torres Jr., Chairperson Rowena Paraan, Secretary-General
- ^ Protecting news sources. Inquirer.net
- ^ Attempt to compel scribe to reveal sources slammed. Inquirer.net
- Press club warns vs repeal of law protecting sources. posted on October 6, 2007.
- NUJP nababahala sa sigalot ng PDI at ilang senador. posted on October 3, 2007.
- Why allow the Senate to supplant judiciary? ABS-CBN Interactive Accessed on October 15, 2007.
- In re VICENTE SOTTO. January 21, 1949. Accessed on October 15, 2007.
- Del Mar bill seeks to correct Sotto Law. posted on September 24, 2005.
- Will Sotto law amendment cover bloggers? posted on September 24, 2005.
- House okays bill expanding protection to news sources. posted on April 21, 2006.
- Ducky Paredes: On Executive Privilege. posted on October 9, 2007
- Protection of sources, a cornerstone of press freedom. National Union of Journalists of the Philippines. posted on October 3, 2007.