Focap says conviction of Ressa, Santos a ‘menacing blow’ to press freedom | Inquirer News

Focap says conviction of Ressa, Santos a ‘menacing blow’ to press freedom

/ 01:15 PM June 15, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The conviction for cyber libel of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa and former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. is a “menacing blow” to press freedom in the country, the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (Focap) said Monday.

ADVERTISEMENT

Focap said it is “extremely alarmed” over the conviction of Ressa and Santos, which several groups have also denounced for its possible implications to press freedom in the Philippines.

“It’s a menacing blow to press freedom in the Philippines and adds a new weapon in a growing legal arsenal against constitutionally guaranteed civil liberties in an Asian outpost of democracy,” Focap said in a statement.

FEATURED STORIES

It has vowed that Focap journalists “will press on with their courageous, fair, accurate and independent journalism” despite the verdict.

“We have fought to stay independent since the dark Martial Law days. We will fight on every time, threat after threat,” the journalists’ group added.

“We stand with Maria and Rey. We stand with Rappler. We stand with all independent journalists,” Focap further said.

Ressa and Santos were sentenced to serve six months and one day up to six years in prison but were allowed to post bail over the cyber libel complaint filed in 2017 by Filipino-Chinese businessman Wilfredo Keng. They were also ordered to indemnify Keng P200,000 in moral damages and P200,000 in exemplary damages.

The case filed in 2017 stemmed from a Rappler article titled “CJ Using SUVs of Controversial Businessman” written by Santos in 2012, which claimed that former Chief Justice Renato Corona was using a Chevrolet Suburban sports utility vehicle found to be registered to Keng.

It also cited an intelligence report prepared in 2002 which allegedly stated that the businessman had been under surveillance by the National Security Council for alleged involvement in “human trafficking and drug smuggling.”

RELATED STORIES

ADVERTISEMENT

Rappler: Conviction of Ressa, Santos ‘sets dangerous precedent for everyone online’

‘We will not be cowed,’ NUJP says on cyber libel conviction of Maria Ressa, Santos

/MUF
Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: cyber libel, FOCAP, Maria Ressa, press freedom, Rappler, Reynaldo Santos Jr.
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.



© Copyright 1997-2022 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.