Democracy

Pretty Good Podcast Episode 2: Cyber libel and press freedom in the Philippines

Pretty Good Podcast Episode 2: Cyber libel and press freedom in the Philippines

The second episode of Pretty Good Podcast delves deeper into the Philippine court cyber libel ruling against journalists Maria Ressa and Reynaldo Santos Jr. of Rappler, a Philippine news organisation known to be critical of incumbent President Rodrigo Duterte. We ask John Nery, a columnist for the Philippine Daily Inquirer and co-founder of the Consortium on Democracy and Disinformation: What does this case mean for press freedom, and what are the wider implications of this ruling for freedom of expression online?

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Maria A. Ressa, Chief Executive Officer, The Rappler, Philippines

The conviction of Maria Ressa: weaponising cyber libel to suppress freedom of speech

On June 15, 2020, online news organization Rappler’s CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. were convicted of cyber libel charges over a seven-year-old report on a businessman’s alleged links to illegal drugs and human trafficking. The ruling, which can still be appealed and brought up to the Supreme Court, is the most recent addition to a growing list of attacks on press freedom and freedom of expression in the Philippines.

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Imelda Pasinabo Sultan (50) and Ma. Lindy Perocho (53) insisted that the firearms and explosives found on top of paper files on the table were all planted by members of the police as commonly maneuvered to legitimize the arrest of activists who criticize the policies and programs of the Duterte Administration.

On the Recent Crackdown on Progressive Groups in the Philippines

As an organization that stands for human rights – which include freedom of expression and the right to protest – EngageMedia is concerned about the recent crackdown on human rights defenders, women, farmer and urban poor advocates, trade unionists, theatre workers, community journalists, and humanitarian organizations.

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