Malacañang to Ressa: Focus on your defense

Malacañang on Wednesday urged Rappler chief executive officer (CEO) Maria Ressa to just focus on her defense after the Manila Regional Trial Court branch 46 ordered her arrest over a cyberlibel case.

No violation of Ressa’s civil rights: DOJ

MANILA — Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Thursday assured full protection of the civil rights of online news website Rappler’s publisher Maria Ressa, who was arrested on Wednesday in connection with a cyber libel complaint filed against her and the media firm by a private individual.Guevarra… Read More


Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo said that the Department of Justice (DOJ) has given Ressa all the opportunity to defend herself.

“The charge is facts-based and the DOJ prosecutors gave her all the opportunity to defend herself and it found out there is probable cause and even the court agrees with it,” Panelo said in an interview over ANC.

Panelo also denied that arresting Ressa is an attack on press freedom.

“I think I’d rather advise Maria Ressa just focus on her defense. Freedom of expression has nothing to do with it,” Panelo said.

“Simply, she committed a crime and the court finds probable cause that’s why she is now being charged,” he added.

Manila court orders arrest of Rappler head for cyber libel

MANILA–A Manila court has issued a warrant of arrest against online news outfit Rappler Inc. publisher Maria Angelita Ressa for cyber libel.”This is simply procedural. Ms. Ressa may post bail anytime, even before the warrant is served,” Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told newsmen on… Read More

Panelo also criticized Ressa’s legal counsel for questioning why the arrest warrant was issued after office hours noting that it should only be an issue if was issued during the weekend.

“They are making a fuss about anything they perceive to be wrong. You know warrant of arrest can be issued on a weekday. It was issued on a weekday so what’s the complaint?,” Panelo said.

“The only prohibition is you issue it on a weekend and that will not give the respondent the opportunity to file a motion for or to file bail,” he added.

On Feb. 12, 2019, Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 President Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montessa issued warrant of arrest against Ressa and writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. for violation of Sec. 4 (C)(4) of Rep. Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.

The law signed by then President Benigno Aquino III in 2012 outlines a number of offenses.

Ressa and Santos are being charged under the provision on content-related offenses which includes libel committed through a computer system or similar means.

The DOJ earlier approved the filing of a cyberlibel case against Ressa.  (PNA)

Press freedom ‘alive and well’ in PH: PCOO chief

MANILA — Press freedom is alive and well in the Philippines, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar said Friday, following criticisms from various groups after the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa.In a statement, Andanar said Ressa’s case… Read More

Rule of law followed in Ressa arrest

MANILA — Malacañang on Friday said the rule of law was followed in the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa for cyberlibel amid criticisms of suppressing press freedom.”Under the Constitution, before a judge can issue a warrant for an arrest of a person, he has to personally… Read More

Keng mulls other raps vs. Rappler, Ressa

MANILA – Businessman Wilfredo Keng, the complainant in the cyber libel complaint against Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa, said he is determining other charges which he can file against the journalist and the online news website.“I will continue this criminal case against… Read More

Ressa arrest for cyber libel not harassment: NPC

MANILA — The National Press Club of the Philippines (NPC) on Friday took exception to claims of some groups that the recent arrest of Rapplerchief executive officer Maria Ressa for cyber libel is an act of political harassment by the government.”The NPC maintains that to inject something that is… Read More

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