Angara to law enforcers after Ressa arrest: Perform task humanely
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sonny Angara on Friday said law enforcers should “perform their tasks in humane ways,” following the arrest for cyberlibel of Rappler chief executive and administration critic Maria Ressa.
The reelectionist senator said a warrant of arrest should not be served on women when courts are already closed, and should not be made with threats.
“Re MRessa case: our law enforcement officers should evolve to the degree where they can perform their tasks in humane ways, ie not serve warrants on women when courts are closed; not make any threats and be courteous; will go a long way to enhance our people’s belief in system,” Angara wrote on Twitter.
Re MRessa case: our law enforcement officers should evolve to the degree where they can perform their tasks in humane ways, ie not serve warrants on women when courts are closed; not make any threats and be courteous; will go a long way to enhance our people s belief in system
— Sonny Angara (@sonnyangara) February 15, 2019
On Wednesday, Ressa was arrested past 5:00 p.m. by agents of the National Bureau of Investigation. She spent the night at the NBI headquarters before she was allowed to post a P100,000 bail on Thursday. NBI agents also reportedly threatened Rappler reporters who are taking videos of Ressa as she was being arrested.
The Department of Justice earlier green-lighted the filing of a cyberlibel case against Ressa in relation to the complaint filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng. Keng was the subject of an article titled “CJ using SUVs of controversial businessman” — “CJ” referring to then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was then under an impeachment trial.
In an article published on May 29, 2012, Rappler cited “an intelligence report” which claimed that Keng was “under surveillance by the National Security Council for alleged involvement in illegal activities, namely ‘human trafficking and drug smuggling.”
In Keng’s complaint against the online news site, he said the article “contained malicious imputations of crimes, with bad intentions, purposely to malign, dishonor and discredit my character and good reputation” of the businessman.
The businessman said he asked Rappler to take down the article but it remained online and was updated with few punctuation corrections on Feb. 19, 2014, which became the basis of his filing of cyberlibel against Ressa and the news agency.
But Ressa argued that she could not be accused of cyber libel because the cybercrime law was not yet in effect when the story was published on May 29, 2012.
The Cybercrime Act was enacted into law on Sept. 12, 2012, and took effect only on Oct. 3, 2012. /muf
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