‘It’s just unfortunate that she’s a member of the media’ – Enrile on Ressa
MANILA, Philippines — “It’s just unfortunate that she’s a member of the media,” former Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile said on Saturday when asked to comment about the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa for cyberlibel.
“I’m not familiar with the facts of the case,” he said, during the Saturday Forum at Annabel’s Restaurant in Quezon City.
But he noted that there was in fact a case, saying: “Libel is a crime usually committed by members of the media if they are not careful with their semantics.”
Ressa’s cyberlibel charge stemmed from a complaint filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng who blasted a 2012 Rappler article titled “CJ using SUVs of controversial businessman.”
The “CJ” in the article refers to then-Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona, who was at that time under an impeachment trial. According to the article0 Corona used a car owned by Keng.
Rappler also cited “an intelligence report” that claimed Keng was “under surveillance by the National Security Council for alleged involvement in illegal activities, namely ‘human trafficking and drug smuggling.”
Keng denied the allegation and demanded that Rappler take down the article. But Rappler kept the article online and even updated it in 2014.
Ressa was arrested by agents of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Wednesday after a warrant was issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46. /atm
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