MANILLA – News website Rappler & # 39; s chief Maria Ressa gathered fellow journalists Thursday to fight for press freedom after her arrest for cyberlaesia, an indictment that lawyers have dismissed as prosecution.
Ressa, who had been released on bail after spending a night in prison, said that her legal ordeal was an example of the abuse of power and the arms lawsuit by the government & # 39 ;.
"This is not just about me, it's not just about Rappler, the message that the government sends is very clear, and someone told our reporter:" We're silent, "she told reporters after bail.
"I say and appeal to you not to mention, even if and if you are next," she added.
Called Time Magazine as "Person of the Year" in 2018, Ressa was arrested Wednesday on the basis of a 2012 Rappler article, whose subject, businessman Wilfredo Keng, claimed it was "clearly defamatory."
Rappler, who has published stories that are critical about the Duterte administration, has scored cases and acted against it as an attack on press freedom.
Ressa decided to end her arrest and said that Philippine democracy was slowly dying.
"What we see is death by a thousand parts of our democracy," she said.
She fights back against tears and promises that she would sue the charges against her.
"We will not dive, we will not hide, we will keep the border," she said.
"Press freedom is not just about journalists: press freedom is the basis of every Filipino right to the truth, so that we can hold power," she added.
Ressa said she would challenge her indictment.
Apart from the case of cyberlaesia, Ressa and Rappler are also faced with a tax expense, and the incorporation certificate of the site was withdrawn in 2018 because it would violate the constitutional restriction of foreign ownership of mass media.