Inilabas ng hukuman ngayong araw ang hatol na guilty laban kay Rappler CEO Maria Ressa kaugnay sa kasong inihain ng negosyante at private citizen na si Mr. Wilfredo Keng.
Magugunita na naglabas ang Rappler ng artikulo kung saan iniuugnay nila si Keng sa human trafficking at droga.
Pero kahit na pribadong mamamayan ang naghain ng asunto laban kay Ressa, hindi pa rin mapigilan ni Senador Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan na ikonekta ito sa gobyerno ni Pangulong Rodrigo Roa Duterte.
“Under the current political atmosphere of repression and authoritarianism, it would have been a surprise if Maria and Reynaldo were acquitted. The silencing of critics and the attacks on the media has been going on for three years now.
And unless we stand up, speak out, and vigorously oppose the tyranny in our midst, their conviction will not be the last,” boladas ni Pangilinan
Halos parehas din ang naging patutsada ni Senadora Risa Hontiveros.
“The attacks on the free press & journalists are a danger to our democracy & to us Filipinos… oday’s conviction sends a chilling message to all: Kung kritiko ka, pwede kang ipasara at pwede kang patahimikin… I urge everyone to speak out. Dumarami tayo. We are complicit if we are silent… Takot sila, kaya nila tayo pinapatahimik,” ngalngal naman ni Hontiveros.
“This year alone and while we’re responding to a global pandemic, we have witnessed the shutdown of a far-reaching media institution and the weaponization of the law against a journalist doing unbiased reporting on extrajudicial killings in the country,” dagdag pa ni Hontiveros.
Ito po ang pahayag ng kampo ni Mr. Keng, ilang araw bago ang naging desisyon ng korte.
“Rappler, unmindful of the damaging effect of their defamatory article, turned a blind eye and deaf ear. That is the real issue. Was there basis for their reckless accusation? They did not show basis for these accusation. Where is the violation of press freedom there? They have totally forgotten their duty to uphold the truth. Wtih the power they wield, they have forgotten their accountability. That is the case. Nothing else,” paliwanag ng Atty. Melissa Andaya, abogado ni Mr. Keng.