Maria Ressa says Nobel Peace Prize win shows 'world is watching' Philippines

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 11 2021 10:44 AM | Updated as of Oct 11 2021 10:56 AM

Rappler CEO and journalist Maria Ressa speaks during a press conference after receiving a guilty verdict on cyber libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court on June 15, 2020. Angie De Silva, ABS-CBN News
Rappler CEO and journalist Maria Ressa speaks during a press conference after receiving a guilty verdict on cyber libel by the Manila Regional Trial Court on June 15, 2020. Angie De Silva, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Rappler CEO Maria Ressa was hoping her Nobel Peace Prize would give "adrenaline and energy" to Filipino journalists, as her win was also proof the world is watching the Philippines.

"I hope it gives adrenaline and energy to Filipino journalists that we are not alone, that the world is watching and that this is hopefully a turn for the better," Ressa said Monday. 

She added she was "stunned" when she was announced as a winner for the prestigious award.

"Who would’ve thought. This is also for you. We are not alone. I feel like I've just been doing my job, the same way I always has when I started in 1980 as a reporter. You put one foot in front of the other," she told ANC's Headstart.

"And I hoped for ABS-CBN. This is ours."

Ressa said she was supposed to receive the award in person on December 10 in Oslo, Norway but she has been "denied the right to travel" since August last year.

She will apply to get clearance to travel from the court, her counsel Theodore Te said.

"Leading up to August, the courts that handled all of these charges gave me authority to travel 36 times. Every time I came back. Even when there was one--actually 2--where I knew government had filed more charges and had an arrest warrant waiting for me," she said.

"My track record clearly shows I want to win this court battle. As we have written numerous times, it has no legs to stand on."

Malacañang, which has attacked Ressa and her news organization several times, has yet to comment on her win.

"It’s actually a professional thing to do. Even (Russian President Vladimir) Putin and the Kremlin congratulated Dimitri, the co-winner," she said.

"It’s never personal, whether it is President Duterte, President Aquino, President Ramos or President Arroyo. Journalists do our jobs. Power takes things sensitively but that is our role as the Fourth Estate. I think this is why the Nobel committee gave the prize this year to journalists because we have this power given to us that is a reflection of the power of the people."

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