Business & Economy

Philippine court rejects Maria Ressa’s appeal in cyber libel case

Manila, Jul 8 (EFE).- A Philippines court rejected Friday the appeal filed by 2021 Nobel Peace laureate and journalist Maria Ressa against a conviction for cyber libel, which she will appeal again.

Ressa, co-founder of the independent news portal Rappler, who faces six months to six years in prison, said in a statement that she will appeal the decision until the case is brought before the Supreme Court, the highest judicial authority in the Asian country.

The journalist is charged in this case, along with investigative reporter Rey Santos, for an article published in 2012 in Rappler on corruption in the judiciary that mentioned the illegal activities of businessman Wilfredo Keng and his alleged involvement in a murder case.

Following Keng’s 2017 cyberdefamation suit, Rappler’s director shared in her Twitter account in February 2019 a screenshot of a 2002 article from the Philstar newspaper, which also mentioned Keng’s involvement in a murder.

The defendants disagree with the decision by the court of appeals, which is being “reviewed” by their legal advisers, said Ressa and Santos in a statement released by Rappler.

In June 2020, Ressa, 58, and Santos were found guilty in this case.

Ressa and her colleague stressed that the matter concerned not just them but the country’s democracy, which required the freedom of the press against forces looking to silence critical voices.

Apart from this trial, Ressa, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for her defense of freedom of expression and the fight against misinformation, faces several cyber-defamation charges, while the Philippine authorities seek to shut down Rappler. EFE


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