Hontiveros & Pangilinan slams Ressa's conviction, urges Filipinos to speak out

Hontiveros & Pangilinan slams Ressa's conviction, urges Filipinos to speak out

“Speak Out!” is the message of the opposition senators to all Filipinos against the attacks on free press and journalist after a court of law convicted Rappler Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder Maria Ressa and former Rappler researcher Rey Santos for the crime of Cyber Libel.
"Attacks" on journalists and the "silencing of critics" in the Philippines have been "going on for three years now," Sen. Francis "Kiko" Pangilinan said in a statement after the conviction.

"Under the current political atmosphere of repression and authoritarianism, it would have been a surprise if Maria Ressa and Reynaldo [Santos] were acquitted," he said.

Senator Risa Hontiveros and Francis Pangilinan
(photo credit to owner)

"Unless we stand up, speak out, and vigorously oppose the tyranny in our midst, their conviction will not be the last, he said.
Pangilinan’s fellow opposition senator Risa Hontiveros said the conviction of the two was meant to "send a chilling message" to Filipinos that the Duterte government critics can be shut down and silenced.
"This year alone and while we're responding to a global pandemic, we have witnessed the shutdown of a far-reaching media institution and the weaponization of the law against a journalist doing unbiased reporting on extrajudicial killings in the country," she said referring to ABS-CBN Corporation’s shutdown and Ressa and Santos’ conviction.

"The attacks on the free press & journalists are a danger to our democracy & to us Filipinos... Takot sila, kaya nila tayo pinapatahimik (They are scared that's why they want to silence us)," Hontiveros adds.
Detained opposition senator Leila De Lima sent out a statement regarding Ressa’s conviction saying that this is another demonstration of the Duterte government's weaponization of law against those who dare speak truth to power."
"They will not stop at going after critics and human rights defenders. To them, journalists too must be silenced. But we will not allow it," said De Lima.

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Report from ABS-CBN News

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