- Rappler, a former reporter, and its CEO Maria Ressa, are facing cyber libel charges
- This was after the Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided to indict them with regard to an article published in 2012
- The said article was deemed as “clearly defamatory” which violated the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012
The Department of Justice (DOJ) has decided to charge Rappler, former reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr., and their CEO Maria Ressa with cyber libel.
KAMI learned that this decision stemmed from an article titled “CJ using SUVs of controversial businessman” which was published back in 2012.
In a report by ABS-CBN News, the aforementioned article was deemed as “clearly defamatory”. It was filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng while the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona was being held.
According to Keng, he did not lend his car to Corona, who was ousted from his post in 2012 due to his undeclared wealth.
As stated in the resolution, Rappler, Santos, and Ressa committed cyber libel, which is a violation of the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012
“The publication complained of imputes to complainant Keng the commission of crimes. It is clearly defamatory," it stated in the resolution.
However, as reported by GMA News, the respondents defended themselves by arguing that the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012 was not yet enacted into law when the article was published.
Despite their defense, the DOJ said that they cannot have the same view with the “19 February 2014 publication,” which was the updated version of the article.
As previously reported by KAMI, Rappler’s CEO, Ressa, was also facing tax evasion charges. She was facing an arrest warrant as well. However, Ressa was able to post bail and insisted that she and her company were paying the right taxes.
KAMI also reported before that Ressa was part of “The Guardian” as TIME magazine’s Person of the Year. This was almost a year after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the news site’s incorporation papers and Malacañang banned them from covering events at the Palace.
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