Philippine Nobel Peace Prize winner faces Supreme Court to avoid jail

Manila, Oct 11 (EFE).- Filipino journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa will go to the Supreme Court after the rejection by a Philippine court of her appeal to a charge of cyber defamation, for which she was convicted in 2020, the reporter said Tuesday.

Ressa, co-founder of digital media Rappler, highly critical of former President Rodrigo Duterte, was sentenced along with journalist Reynaldo Santos for an article published in 2012 in which businessman Wilfredo Keng, the plaintiff, was linked to drug trafficking.

In this Tuesday’s order, the judge rejected that the crime of cyber defamation, whose law was approved three months after the publication of the article, was committed ex post facto and confirmed the retroactive nature of its application.

“I am disappointed with today’s decision but sadly not surprised. It is another reminder of the importance of independent journalism in holding power to account,” Ressa said in a statement.

The Nobel Peace Prize also said she would appeal to the Supreme Court a judicial decision that could sentence her to between six months and almost seven years in prison.

“The campaign of harassment against me and Rappler continues, and the Philippine judicial system is not doing enough to stop it,” she said.

The journalist and the Rappler portal have seven cases pending resolution by the Philippine justice system.

In June, the Securities Market Commission ordered the closure of Rappler for allegedly violating the restrictions imposed in the country on the ownership of media in the hands of foreign entities, whose appeal is still pending resolution. EFE


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