Published: Thu, February 14, 2019

Filipino Journo Maria Ressa Arrested, International Media Cry Foul

Filipino Journo Maria Ressa Arrested, International Media Cry Foul

The award-winning head of a Philippines online news site that has aggressively covered President Rodrigo Duterte's administration has been arrested by government agents in a libel case.

"We do not want to make a conclusion which may be out of context".

Philippine journalists immediately attacked the surprise serving of the warrant.

Perete said that NBI agents can ask people from doing certain actions which they think "may impede the smooth and peaceful service of the warrant".

Rappler continued to publish on Wednesday, including covering Ressa's arrest, and the offending articles appear to still be available on the website.

"They told me that, 'Ma'am, trabaho lang po ito.' All I will say is ang dami nang tao na [nagsabi na] trabaho lang po but [dapat] tingnan natin kung ano talaga 'yung trabaho na 'yun", she said.

"We always say information is power, right?"

"This is a risky precedent that puts anyone - not just the media - who publishes anything online perennially in danger of being charged with libel", the company said. Rey said she would be willing to cooperate with the Justice department.

Officers of the National Bureau of Investigation arrested Ressa from the headquarters of Rappler in Manila.

Maria Ressa knew they were coming for her.

Ressa paid 100,000 pesos, the sixth time she posted bail to avoid detention following a slew of charges. "I will pay more bail than Imelda Marcos".


Perete defended the timing of the service of the warrant, saying that it could be served at any time and that "logistical and operational requirements" of the NBI should be considered.

In a January 10 decision, the Department of Justice (DoJ) recommended that the Manila court indict Ressa and Santos.

"The arrest of journalist @mariaressa by the Philippine government is outrageous and must be condemned by all democratic nations", Albright said in a tweet where she called Ressa a friend.

Ressa spoke out forcefully about the role USA -based social media giants, most notably Facebook, which is hugely popular in the Philippines, had in spreading "tainted" information to in a way that she said was distorting the democratic process worldwide. "Then a week later it magically reappeared", said Ressa.

The article included allegations the businessman was linked to illegal drugs and human trafficking, and that a vehicle registered in his name had been used by the country's chief justice. Keng did not object to the article until 2017, after Duterte's government began accusing Rappler of running fake news and being illegally run by foreigners (the Philippines requires all national media to be owned and operated by Philippine nationals). The online news organization supposedly promised to take down the story, but never did.

Ressa said this is the sixth active case she is now facing.

Speaking to reporters after her arrest, the veteran journalist, who is now CEO and executive editor, said she was "shocked that the rule of law has been broken to a point that I can't see it". It's weaponization of the law.

"At the beginning, for about two weeks, I was trying to respond".

Maria Ressa, center, stands on stage at a 2018 New Year's Eve celebration in New York's Times Square. Others who were cited were slain Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and detained Reuters correspondents Wa Lone and Kyaw Soe Oo. She was bureau chief for the United States broadcaster in Manila, then in Jakarta.

Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa talks to her lawyer shortly before her arrest on February 13, 2019. Earlier, the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked the website's registration, alleging that foreigners had illegally invested in the company, a charge Rappler denied.

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