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Locsin stands by DOJ chief on Ressa’s arrest

/ 08:33 PM February 14, 2019

MANILA, Philippines — Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. expressed support for Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra after journalist Maria Ressa said she will hold the justice chief accountable for the cyberlibel case filed against her.

READ: Maria Ressa to Guevarra: ‘I have the right to hold you accountable’

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In a tweet on Thursday, Locsin vouched for Guevarra’s integrity.

“Guevara is an intellectual heavyweight and uncompromising in his integrity; I send all my legal conundrums to him for final vetting,” he said.

“I’d give him the benefit of the doubt. Best is to test it all in court,” he added.

Locsin’s tweet followed the arrest of Ressa, chief executive officer of Rappler, for a cyberlibel case over an article published in 2012.

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READ: Rappler’s Maria Ressa arrested for cyberlibel

READ: LOOK: The SUV that launched the libel suit against Rappler

“You (Guevarra) don’t want to be known as the Secretary of Injustice. I also have the right to hold you accountable,” Ressa earlier told reporters, reacting to the approval of the Department of Justice (DOJ) of the cyberlibel case against her and Rappler’s reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr.

READ: Ressa posts bail for cyberlibel charge

“I am a citizen of this country and you cannot violate my rights,” she added.

However, the DOJ has assured Ressa that she can still defend herself and “disprove the accusations against her.”

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“Our laws and our courts guarantee this, in addition to other rights granted an accused — including the right to bail which Ms. Ressa could have asserted much sooner to forestall her arrest,” DOJ spokesperson Markk Perete said in a statement.

Ressa’s arrest has received a widespread rebuke from local and international journalists and numerous media groups. /ee

READ: Ressa’s arrest a ‘desperate move’ by gov’t – CNN’s Amanpour

READ: Ressa’s arrest is an act of ‘bully government’ — NUJP

READ: Int’l press groups: Charges against Ressa ‘politically motivated’  

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TAGS: DOJ chief, Jr., Maria Ressa, Philippine news update, Teodoro Locsin
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