From cyber libel to cyber attacks, Duterte is desperate in suppressing the truth

Opinion & Analysis Philippines Feb 22, 2019 at 6:01 pm

By Renan Ortiz

Below is the unity statement of LODI, National Union of Journalists in the Philippines, AlterMidya People’s Media Network, Bulatlat, Kodao Productions, and Pinoy Weekly.

The arrest of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa on spurious cyber libel charges under suspicious conditions confirms that the Duterte administration has taken to twisting the law and legal processes to persecute its enemies.

The arrest near the close of day and subsequent events show it was meant to show the government’s capacity to orchestrate a full press against critics. There was no effort by Ressa or Rappler to evade the law. But when Rappler’s lawyers tried to post night bail, they were rebuffed by the judge tasked precisely to respond to unnusual circumstances. Indeed, the withholding of information and documents needed for bail, especially coupled with the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents threats against journalists documenting the arrest, show clear malice.

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