Panelo on Ressa's conviction: ‘case of accountability’

Panelo on Ressa's conviction: ‘case of accountability’

Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo made it clear that the conviction of the two Rappler personalities over a cyber libel case is “a case of accountability” and not what they are painting to be.
Panelo disagreed with the opposition lawmakers who are shouting in media that their conviction by the Manila RTC is slowly killin press freedom in the country.

”Ms. Ressa should stop telling her fellow journalists that this is a case against all of them too when she and her reporter who wrote the offending article were the only ones sued and convicted for allegedly transgressing an individual's rights,” Panelo said.

Panelo reminds Maria Ressa and the Rappler’s former reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr that the libel case filed against them is by a private person Wilfred Keng.
“Simply put, this a case between Ms. Ressa and Mr. Keng, whom the President does not know from Adam. It is a case of accountability upon those who abuse the freedom of the press,” Panelo said.
Panelo reminds all journalist to take to heart the wisdom written by the Supreme Court as regards freedom of the press is “not absolute” and ends when it is abused and transgresses the rights of others.

No journalist has been charged by Duterte

The Chief counsel of the President emphasized that no journalist have been charged in court by the Pres. Duterte despite libelous articles written about him and his immediate family.
“The right to express oneself or to publish articles of dissent is sacrosanct as it is guaranteed by the Constitution. Its observance by the Administration is irrefutably evidenced by the fact that reporters, especially those from Rappler, continue to publish articles against this Administration’s policies,” he said.
Critics and dissenters continue to air their protests in various media platforms against the policies of President Duterte.

“They are eloquent proof that the freedom of the press in this part of the world is robust and unfettered,” he added.

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Report from PNA

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