- The Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 has released its verdict regarding the pending case of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa
- The court said that Ressa and former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. were “guilty” of cyberlibel
- Ressa faced the press after the decision was released and she issued a statement
- The Rappler CEO and Santos were sentenced with 6 months to 6 years of imprisonment
The Manila Regional Trial Court has released its verdict regarding the cyberlibel case of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. on Monday.
KAMI learned that the Manila RTC Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa found Ressa and Santos “guilty” of violating the Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
In a report by the Inquirer (authored by Tetch Torres-Tupas), the court gave a penalty of six months to six years of jail time. They are also ordered to pay a total of P400,000 to complainant Wilfredo Keng for moral and exemplary damages.
“I think the decision for me is devastating because it essentially says that Rappler, we are wrong,” Ressa said after the decision was released.
The case stemmed from a complaint by Keng regarding an article written by Santos on May 29, 2012. In the article, Santos said that Keng was involved in human trafficking and other illegal activities. The complainant said that Santos and Rappler purposely maligned his reputation.
On February 13, 2019, Ressa was arrested by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) after a warrant was issued. She was released a day after she posted P100,000 bail.
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