‘Strengthens resolve despite harassment’: Nobel-winning journalist Maria Ressa acquitted again

Her portal Rappler was critical of Rodrigo Duterte, whose tenure as president ended last year.

WrittenBy:NL Team
Date:
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Philippines Nobel laureate Maria Ressa and her news site Rappler have been acquitted of tax fraud by a trial court.

Ressa and Rappler have been embroiled in legal battles ever since the news website’s credentials were revoked in 2018. Rappler is one of the few news platforms in the Philippines that was critical of president Rodrigo Duterte, whose tenure ended last year. She had been arrested and released on bail in December 2018, and again in February 2019.

Speaking to the media after the verdict, Ressa, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021, said, “The acquittal now strengthens our resolve to continue with the justice system, to submit ourselves to the court despite the political harassment, despite the attack on press freedom…It shows that the court system works. We hope to see the remaining charges dismissed.”

Ressa's acquittal was expected after she was cleared of similar tax charges nine months ago.

In June 2022, authorities ordered Rappler to shut down, to which Ressa said, “We will hold the line.”

Rappler continues operations pending its appeal against a closure order from the securities regulator.

The Philippines is ranked 132 out of 180 countries in the World Press Freedom Index.

Watch Ressa at The Media Rumble 2018 where she talked about taking on the Duterte government and speaking truth to power.

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