World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 

Editor Ressa arrested on new charge against Rappler

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has condemned the trumped-up charges that were brought this week against Maria Ressa, executive editor of the Philippine news website Rappler, and against her managing editor and five members of the website’s 2016 board.

Abroad at the time of the events, Maria Ressa was arrested yesterday morning on her arrival at Manila Airport in the Philippines after disembarking from a flight from San Francisco.
She was brought before a court a couple of hours later, before being released on bail.
READ MORE ON ASIA PACIFIC REPORT - SEE VIDEO

In this, the latest in a seemingly inexorable series of judicial proceedings against Rappler and its staff, Maria Ressa and her colleagues were accused of violating the anti-dummy law, which bans foreign ownership of Philippine media outlets – an accusation that is not based on any established fact, reports RSF.

Thursday’s charges were brought before the regional court in the Manila suburb of Pasig by the Pasig prosecutor’s office.

“The judicial harassment of Rappler by various government agencies is bordering on the absurd,” said Daniel Bastard, head of RSF’s Asia-Pacific desk.

“In all, the website and its journalists are currently the targets of proceedings in at least 11 cases, each as spurious as the other. Against the government’s manipulation of the judicial system with the aim of silencing troublesome media outlets, Rappler stands as pillar of democracy to be defended at all cost.”

As well as Ressa, the other persons charged yesterday were managing editor Glenda M. Gloria and five members of the website’s 2016 board: Felicia Atienza, Manuel Ayala, James Bitanga, Nico Jose Nolledo and James Velasquez.

Relentless war
The charges are based on a Securities and Exchange Commission decision in January 2018 to revoke Rappler’s licence on the grounds that it was not totally Philippine owned. The claim did not stand up to scrutiny, as RSF demonstrated at the time in its Media Ownership Monitor report on Philippine media ownership.

The SEC decision was the first assault in an unrelenting war that President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration has waged against Rappler, a symbol of journalistic freedom and independence.

It has included a ban of Rappler reporters in the presidential palace, tax evasion accusations, and a defamation charge under a law that did not exist at the time of the alleged offence. In their attempts to intimidate the website’s journalists, the authorities even went so far as to detain Ressa in February.

The Philippines is ranked 133rd out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2018 World Press Freedom Index.

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of Klobuchar And Bloomberg

Oh, the burden of being the front-runner. In 2016, when he was still the feisty underdog, Vermont senator Bernie Sanders set his campaign alight by beating Hillary Clinton in neighbouring New Hampshire by a resounding 60-39% margin. Yesterday, Sanders won again in New Hampshire. This time though only by a 1.3% margin over Pete Buttigieg, with Minnesota senator Amy Klobuchar reasonably close behind in third place. More>>

ALSO:

Crisis and Opportunity: The ‘Deal of the Century’

After several postponements, US President, Donald Trump, has finally revealed the details of his Middle East plan, dubbed ‘Deal of the Century’, in a press conference in Washington on January 28. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Iran Aftermath

So, evidently, you can get away with murder. It looks as though a further escalation in the ongoing war between Iran and the US has been avoided – mainly thanks to Iran NOT responding in kind to the recklessly unhinged behaviour by the United States. ... More>>

ALSO: