Rappler’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and executive editor Maria Ressa
PASIG CITY, Philippines – The Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 265 released on Monday (December 3) the order of arrest against Rappler’s chief executive officer (CEO) and executive editor, Maria Ressa, for charges of multiple tax evasion.
The order, which was signed on Thursday (November 29), states that Ressa may post for bail of P60,000 for her temporary release.
Ressa, meanwhile, stands up to her battle against the government.
“I’ll face these charges in court, I have no doubt we will win in the long term. I call on the men and women in the Philippine judiciary, in the Court of Tax Appeals…We’re doing nothing but good journalism,” the embattled journalist said.
Ressa and the online news website Rappler have been criticized by Malacañang time and again for publishing articles critical to the Duterte administration. – Marje Pelayo (with reports from Mai Bermudez)
“As I earlier said in the press briefing this morning, those articles are reeking with malice and it’s libelous in nature because it tends to impute an act to discredit me in public and to tarnish my honor,” he said.
“In view of this, I’m filing a libel case against net Inquirer and Rappler for publishing these malicious articles,” he added.
Panelo also said they are already drafting the said complaints.
In a statement, Rappler said the complaint is merely a diversionary tactic.
Rappler also calls on Panelo to answer the questions about his possible conflicts of interest.—AAC
MANILA, Philippines – International human rights lawyers Amal Clooney and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC will join Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s legal team.
In a statement, Clooney expressed confidence in Maria Ressa as a ‘courageous’ journalist “who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses.”
Ressa is currently facing several criminal cases including tax evasion and cyberlibel.
Together with her team, Clooney promised to protect the rights of journalists in the country with their handling of Ressa’s charges.
“We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines,” she said.
Meanwhile, Ressa said she is ‘delighted’ by Clooney and her team’s willingness to help in her case.
“I have been targeted and attacked simply for being an independent journalist,” Ressa said in a statement.
“I am delighted that Amal Clooney and her team will be representing me at the international level to challenge the violations of my rights and those of the media organization I represent,” the embattled journalist added.
Clooney and Gallagher, both specializing in international law and human rights, are members of the Doughty Street Chambers law firm. – with details from Mai Bermudez
The Supreme Court can no longer deliberate on the petition of Rappler reporters for them to be allowed to cover news in Malacañang.
Chief Justice Lucas Bersamin said that the next en banc session of the Supreme Court justices is on May 3 and it is only then that they will be able to discuss on the said petition.
“Iyong pag-akyat namin sa Baguio natapos na namin iyong mga naka-schedule na kaso namin sa en banc but mahirap lamang na ipagpatuloy namin sa Abril ng Holy week at pagbibigyan namin ang mga miyembro ng Supreme Court na magnilay [We have already finished the cases scheduled in the en banc session in Baguio (City), we just cannot continue as next week is Holy Week. We have to give the members of the Supreme Court to reflect],” the Chief Justice said.
On Thursday, April 11, several Rappler reporters appealed before the Supreme Court to step in and stop Malacanang from barring them from covering the President and his activities.
Rappler said such prohibition is a violation of their press freedom. – Maris Federez
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