Rappler's Ressa ‘failed to defend herself,’ DFA Locsin tells US

Rappler's Ressa ‘failed to defend herself,’ DFA Locsin tells US

Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. has allayed the fears of the United States over the cyber libel conviction of the dual citizen Maria Ressa and her former reporter , saying the seasoned journalist had “failed to defend herself”  that led to the Regional Trial Court’s (RTC) adverse ruling.

The US through its State Department made an announcement that it was “concerned” over the guilty verdict handed down by a Manila RTC’s against the Rappler boss, and her former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr.
for cyber libel that was pursued by a private citizen.

“After her conviction in the lower court, she should appeal immediately to the upper court and not appeal to social media and the like-minded there because this is a matter of law,” Locsin said in an exclusive interview with ANC.

DFA Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. and Maria Ressa
(photo credit to owner)

“They’re (US) concerned by the verdict but we have to explain to them and I think I adequately explained to them that she failed to defend herself,” the DFA chief, himself a former journalist, added.
The US statement calls for a “resolution of the case in a way that reinforces the U.S. and Philippines’ long shared commitment to freedom of expression, including for members of the press.”

Locsin, assures the United States that two allied countries remained committed to the rule of law.
“The United States and the Philippines are united and stand by each other in this that the rule of law must prevail,” Locsin said.

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Report from PDI

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