By Prince Golez
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) hopes for judicial independence on the cyber libel case filed against Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa.
In a statement released a day before the Manila court hands down its verdict, the NUJP dismissed the case as “part of this vindictive government’s ruthless campaign to silence or intimidate independent and critical Philippine media.”
The cyber libel against Ressa and former writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. stemmed from a May 2012 article that claimed businessman Wilfredo Keng supposedly allowed former chief justice Renato Corona to use his SUV, and was allegedly involved in human trafficking and drug smuggling.
“We have seen how the State and its agencies twisted the application of an already bad law into one more weapon in the legal arsenal it has brought to bear against Rappler, not to mention the misbegotten ban on coverage by a chief executive whose personal whims hold more weight than the public interest,” the organization said Sunday.
“On Monday, we, together with all those who treasure our rights and liberties, will be watching and waiting, hoping judicial independence and wisdom will set things right,” the statement also read.