The Philippine Judges Association (PJA) on Monday, June 22, denounced the criticisms made against the judiciary due to cyberlibel conviction of Rappler executive editor Maria Angelita Ressa.
“The PJA strongly denounces these abusive attacks and criticisms hurled against the courts, judges and the judiciary!” read the statement of PJA President, Judge Felix Reyes.
Reyes made the statement over “how the judiciary is being dragged and vilified just because a decision was rendered in a manner not acceptable to the parties therein.”
“The public must come to grips with the vital role of the courts in a functioning role of the courts in a functioning democracy,” he stated.
“Courts settle controversies on the basis of facts and law,” he added.
The magistrate also reminded that when a party loses a cases “there are remedies under the law.”
“This kind of system makes people rely upon our courts with substantial certainty; it encourages the resolution of disputes in courtrooms rather than on the streets,” Reyes pointed out.
“Abusive cricticisms and unfounded innuendoes hurled against courts and judges erode the public’s trust and confidence on the very institution tasked to protect the people’s rights,” he said.
The case stemmed from the complaint of businessman Wilfredo Keng against the May 29, 2012 article published by Rappler and written by its former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. titled “CJ Using SUVs of Controversial Businessman”.
The article reported that then Chief Justice Renato Corona was found using a 2011 Chevrolet Subarban which was found registered to Keng. At that time Corona was facing an impeachment trial.
The article described the businessman as “shady” and has been involved in crimes including drugs and murder.