MANILA - The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said on Monday that its decision to file a cyber libel complaint against news website Rappler was not a reversal of its previous evaluation of the case.
NBI Director Dante Gierran said earlier reports that the NBI found no basis for the libel raps against Rappler were based on an unfinished evaluation of the case.
"There is no such thing as reversal because napag-alaman ko lately that the matter of that supposed interview was a casual giving of information on a matter that is not yet terminated. Di pa tapos po," Gierran said.
The NBI confirmed last week that it filed a cyber libel complaint against Rappler on March 2.
This was after the NBI Legal Service division said on February 22 that the libel complaint by businessman Wilfredo Keng over a 2012 story had no basis as the 1-year prescription had already lapsed when Keng filed the case.
The complaint stemmed from a Rappler story published almost six years ago that linked Keng to human trafficking and drug smuggling, among other issues.
NBI Deputy Director Ferdinand Lavin also said the NBI can still file the case, despite the opinion of their legal service.
Besides the NBI probe, Rappler also faces a tax evasion complaint from the Bureau of Internal Revenue and had its incorporation papers revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission.
The news website has decried the cases filed against it as harassment by the Duterte administration over its critical reporting of the government. - with a report from Niko Baua, ABS-CBN News