[Statement] #BabaeAko condemns the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa on a spurious cyberlibel charge

#BabaeAko condemns the arrest of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa on a spurious cyberlibel charge.

The serving by National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agents of an arrest warrant past office hours is clear harassment.

Ressa is by no stretch of the imagination a flight risk. She actually returned home to squarely face the cases filed by a government intent on wreaking vengeance on critics.

The arrest clearly intends to shame Ressa. But the shame lies squarely with this vindictive government.

It is ironic that the NBI has been tasked with the arrest as it had earlier recommended the dismissal of the cyberlibel charge.

For good reason: the ALLEGED crime happened BEFORE the passage of the cyberlibel law.

The government’s insistence on pursuing the case as a continuing crime is indicative of the perverse legal gyrations it has undertaken to persecute perceived enemies, as in the cases of Sen Leila de Lima and former Chief Justice Lourdes Sereno. This government is bent on silencing the voices of women critics and activists at the forefront of the struggle against human rights violations and tyranny.

A democracy cannot exist without a free press. As our journalists fight to defend press freedom, we call on Filipinos to hold the line with them.

Source: https://www.facebook.com/BabaeAkoMovement/

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