NPC: Maria Ressa arrest for cyber libel not harassment.

NPC: Maria Ressa arrest for cyber libel not harassment.

The arrest of Maria Ressa is not harassment- the National Press Club,   the professional and social organization of journalists in the Philippines said.
"The NPC maintains that to inject something that is not there and thus politicize a strictly judicial process involving a legal dispute between two private parties -- the private complainant on the one hand and Rappler, a private media outfit, on the other -- does not, and will not, serve the end of justice, which was the aim of the complaint to begin with," the NPC said.

Maria Ressa (photo credit to CNNPhils)

NPC also emphasized that libel is a legal recourse available to everyone as provided for in our established laws of the land.
"To politicize a legal recourse available to everyone who feels aggrieved by the media is not only to twist the facts of any particular libel case in order to solicit sympathy from a public largely ignorant of the facts of the dispute that gave rise to the complaint," it added.
Ms. Maria Ressa's experience has been the experience of many journalists in the media profession. It can be a great 'inconvenience' but, not something that should relegate someone to the altar of press freedom for 'martyrdom,'" the NPC said.

Bad taste
The NPC however cites the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) by the way the arrest was effected when the arrest warrant was served against Rappler's Ressa.
"While the NPC recognized that the NBI served the warrant as directed by the court, the manner by which it was done smacks of bad taste -- at the close of office hours, thus affording Ms. Ressa little, or no time at all, to post the necessary bail and thus ensuring that she should spend the night in jail. The NBI could have served the warrant much earlier, if it wanted to," it said.

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Report from PNA

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