RAPPLER CEO Maria Ressa continues to humiliate our nation. She has arrogantly defied our rule of law, in effect saying her stature and the West’s adulation of her place her beyond our legal system. To this day, Rappler continues to publish the article for which she was convicted of libel, and which she claims was President Duterte’s move to suppress her website’s critical coverage of his administration.
Ressa’s allegation is such total rubbish it is amazing that Western media believed it, which explains how it was easy for the US to get the Nobel committee to award her its peace prize.
She and the writer of the article himself, Reynaldo Santos, were convicted of libel by a regional trial court in June 2020 for claiming that a businessman, Willy Keng, was a murderer. The piece was part of a huge 2012 media campaign with Rappler’s “editor-at-large” Marites Vitug as one of its leaders, launched by the Aquino administration to demonize and remove Chief Justice Renato Corona from his post. It claimed that Keng, whom it claimed was a “shadowy” businessman, was the magistrate’s close friend and that Corona was even using his SUV.
Judge Rainalda Estacio-Mendoza, a highly regarded magistrate, pointed out in her decision that Ressa and Santos did not offer a “scintilla of proof that they verified the imputations of various crimes against the businessman.” Their only defense was that the cyberlibel law was enacted only in September 2012, months after the article was published in May 2012.
As a mere website without any hard copies, Ressa claimed they could not be charged under the law. In her arrogance though, and despite the businessman’s offer to withdraw his case if the article was taken down, Ressa continued to put it in the Rappler site, even updating it in February 2014. She and the reporter (who left Rappler in 2013) were convicted of libel under the new cybercrime law, sentenced to imprisonment of six months to six years, and made to pay damages amounting to P500,000.(more…)