Iba't ibang grupo naalarma sa hatol ng korte laban kay Maria Ressa

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 15 2020 03:44 PM | Updated as of Jun 15 2020 10:47 PM

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MAYNILA — Inilarawan ng press freedom advocates at iba pang mga grupo bilang "devastating blow" o kagimbal-gimbal na pag-atake sa malayang pamamahayag ang naging hatol laban sa journalist at Rappler CEO na si Maria Ressa at dating manunulat nito sa kasong cyber libel. 

Lunes ng umaga nang hatulang guilty ni Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa sina Ressa at dating Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. na guilty sa cyber libel case na isinampa ng negosyanteng si Wilfredo Keng dahil sa umano'y mapanirang artikulo noong 2012.

Ayon sa iba't ibang grupo, isang pang-aabuso ng mga awtoridad ang naging hatol laban kina Ressa. 

"The conviction of a prominent journalist for criminal libel is a devastating blow to media freedom in the Philippines... The verdict against Maria Ressa highlights the ability of the Philippines’ abusive leader to manipulate the laws to go after critical, well-respected media voices whatever the ultimate cost to the country," ani Phil Robertson, deputy Asia director ng New York-based na Human Rights Watch.

"The government should reverse this alarming affront to justice and quash the convictions of Rappler’s Ressa and Santos," dagdag ni Robertson. 

Nababahala rin ang iba't ibang grupo ng mamamahayag na nakabase sa Pilipinas. 

"This is a dark day not only for independent Philippine media but for all Filipinos... But we will not be cowed. We will continue to stand our ground against all attempts to suppress our freedoms," sabi naman ng National Union of Journalists of 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," giit naman ng Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines. 

Sabi naman ni Vice President Leni Robredo, nakababahala ang naging hatol kila Ressa. 

"Reports have come in regarding the guilty verdict against Maria Ressa. This is a chilling development… If the law and our government institutions can be brought to bear upon Ms. Ressa, then we should be wary of what this means to the freedoms of ordinary citizens," sabi ni Robredo.

Nag-ugat ang kaso sa artikulong inilathala sa Rappler noong 2012 na sinabing may "shady past" o kadudadudang nakaraan si Keng.

Ani Keng, nagmakaawa pa siya sa Rappler para ilathala ang panig niya pero hindi ito pinansin ng website kaya napilitan siyang maghabla. 

Iginiit naman ng Rappler na walang basehan ang reklamo dahil nailathala ito bago pa magkaroon ng batas laban sa cyber libel at in-update lang ito noong 2014 dahil sa isang typo error. 

Matapos ang kaniyang conviction, iginiit ni Ressa na lalaban sila. Hinikayat din niya ang mga mamamahayag at mga Pilipino na ipaglaban ang kanilang karapatan bago maging huli ang lahat.

"We will keep fighting... I appeal to you, the journalists in this room, the Filipinos who are listening, to protect your rights. We are meant to be a cautionary tale. We are meant to make you afraid," ani Ressa.

Maaaring makulong si Ressa at Santos nang hanggang 6 na taon dahil sa paglabag sa Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

 

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