Maria Ressa: ‘We’re gonna hold the line…answer the charges’
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa said on Friday that the news company had done nothing illegal and would answer all the charges hurled against them.
“We’re gonna hold the line, we’re gonna stand firm. We’re gonna answer the charges, we have nothing to be afraid of, we haven’t done anything illegal,” Ressa told reporters after the Black Friday protest at Boy Scout Circle in Timog Avenue, Quezon City.
“We condemn these actions as attempts to try to turn journalism into a crime,” she added.
Rappler reporters and staff went full force in the protest to condemn the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) order to revoke their company’s registration for allegedly violating ownership rules.
Ressa maintained that the order was “political” in nature and part of the government’s effort to muzzle the press.
“The political nature of these attacks against Rappler by the government are very clear: one year statements from President Duterte against media, in particular, ABS-CBN, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and now it’s our turn,” she added.
The CEO said she felt uncomfortable for being on the other side of the news but thanked nonetheless the members of the media, bloggers, and activists who expressed support for the company.
Voltaire Tupaz, MovePH editor, said that there is a time to report, to post on Facebook, and to fight.
“Ngayong gabi ay panahon ng paglaban! At ang mga kasama ko ngayon ay handang lumaban kasama ang mga mamamahayag mula sa Inquirer, ABS-CBN, na ginigipit ng pamahalaang ito,” Tupaz said.
(Tonight is a time to fight! And my colleagues who are with me now are ready to fight together with other journalists from Inquirer, ABS-CBN, who are also being harassed by this government.)
“Alam namin na ang labang ito ay laban ng bagong henerasyon ng mamamahayag,” he added.
(We know that this fight is a fight of the new generations of journalists.)
Many other leaders from the media and arts joined the rally, including Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) executive director Malou Mangahas, TV5 host Atty. Mel Sta. Maria, and renowned director Joel Lamangan.
The Quezon City Police put the crowd estimate at 350 protesters.