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Valentines Mess or Bless? The Outcome of Maria Ressa’s Hate and Bongbong Marcos’ Love

Maria Ressa
By: Elena Grace Flores

The Valentines Day arrest is a shocker to Maria Ressa, Rappler’s CEO who is famous for allegedly spreading lies against the Du30 administration through her own media propaganda that aims to destroy the political enemies of her Liberal Party enablers. She is also instrumental in blocking and minimizing the supporters of Du30, Bongbong Marcos, and Atty. Glenn Chong through Facebook. Her hate towards the non-LP patriots brings her to forge connivance with FB founder, Mark Zuckerberg. On the other hand, Bongbong Marcos continues to inspire Filipinos by disclosing his own love story with wife, Liza Araneta Marcos. This is a hate-mess, love-bless scenario indeed. z

YouTube video by Bongbong Marcos

[VIDEO]: Bongbong Marcos: Kaming mga Ilokano ay hindi madalas magpakita ng feelings. (Pero minsan, hindi na ito mapigilan!)

The Blame Game of Maria Ressa

Maria Ressa, the CEO of online news site Rappler critical of the Duterte administration faces her arrest after office hours on Feb. 13, 2018. This is in connection with a cyber libel complaint by a businessman. Their so-called human rights advocates call the incident an act of “persecution.” Despite the fact that the case has nothing to do with the government but rather personal due to her spreading rumors about others without a legal basis just to have an edge in business, she can only blame her detractors for her misfortunes.

No Bail Recommendation

The arrest warrant did not state a bail possibility, according to Ressa’s lawyer, JJ Disini. “People should know that a line was crossed,” Ressa said. This is after she arrived at the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters on Taft Avenue in Manila on the night of her arrest. However, the lawyer should know that it is a bailable offense so, Ressa may have a little inconvenience overnight at the NBI. Not in prison per se.

An Awarded Journalist Can Also be Libelous

“We are going to new lows … We should be worried,” added the Rappler CEO, who was one of those named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” in 2018 for journalistic work. To address this, Malacañang advises Ressa to concentrate on her defense. “The case against Maria Ressa is not based on any violation of press freedom. She simply commits a crime and the court finds probable cause,” presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo said.

The Case

The warrant, issued by Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa, orders Ressa’s arrest in relation to charges under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The DOJ recommends it. They take her detention as a dramatic escalation in the legal pressure bearing down on Ressa and Rappler. The company is facing tax evasion charges that can shut it down.

Where’s the Link?

Then Rappler reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr. wrote that a car that services former Chief Justice Renato Corona during his impeachment trial belongs to businessman Wilfredo Keng. Santos alleges that Keng has ties to human trafficking and drug smuggling ring. Five years after the story’s publication, Keng files a complaint against Santos, Ressa and six members of Rappler’s board of directors under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012. The NBI initially dismisses it since the article was published before the law was enacted. But in January 2019, the DOJ revives the charges against Ressa and Santos, as well as Rappler. It is because of the law update that can still cover the said news article in February 2014, and is therefore actionable.

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