Court of Appeals (CA) turns down Maria Ressa’s plea to travel to US

Court of Appeals (CA) turns down Maria Ressa’s plea to travel to US


Setback after setback.

A few weeks ago, Rappler’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and founder was convicted of the cyber libel complaint filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng.

The Court of Appeals (CA) denied her petition to travel abroad pending the appeal of her cyber libel conviction before the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46.

In a seven-page resolution dated August 18, the appellate court's Special 14th Division through Associate Justice Geraldine C. Fiel-Macaraig said while the lower courts had previously allowed her to leave the country, Maria Ressa's "subsequent conviction changes her situation".

(photo credit to owner)

The Appellate court also said Ressa “failed to show the necessity and urgency” of her request to travel to the United States from Aug. 23 to Sept. 19 this year. Associate Justices Danton Q. Bueser and Carlito B. Calpatura concurred.

“Other than her brief narration, she has not presented further evidence to warrant her physical presence at the theatrical release and panel discussions of the documentary ‘A Thousand Cuts’,” the CA said.

The CA also found “no sufficient evidence to justify” the intention of the co-founder of Rappler to personally receive an award.

The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), the CA said, also successfully demonstrated that Ressa’s intended travel is not necessary and urgent “because there are other ways for her to participate” in the US event.

The OSG earlier opposed Maria Ressa’s request to travel abroad noting that she had "voluntarily agreed to restrict her right to travel after she had posted bail for her temporary liberty." It added "her conviction warrants stricter restriction against her privilege to travel abroad."

Aside from her cyber libel conviction, pending tax evasion charges, and a second cyber libel complaint as among the circumstances that prevent her to travel abroad, the OSG said Ressa’s views on the Philippine justice system make her a flight risk.


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Report from PNA



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