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By Prince Golez

The United States’ (US) criticism on the guilty verdict given to veteran journalist Maria Ressa does not sit well with Malacañang.

“Itong mga pulang ito ay hindi po nakakatulong sa pagkakaibigan ng Pilipinas at ng Amerika dahil puwede pong isipin ng Presidente, itong panghihimasok, ito po ay isang hatol na hindi katiwa-tiwala ang mga hukuman sa Pilipinas at hindi nman po tatanggapin ng ating Presidente yan,” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with Radyo Inquirer Wednesday.

Roque was reacting to the statement of US Department of State spokesperson Morgan Ortagus calling on the Philippine government to uphold the freedom of press and expression in response to the cyber-libel conviction of Rappler chief Ressa and former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr.

The country, according to the Palace official, has the exact same libel laws as the US.

“Ang libel laws naman po natin at ang ating libel jursirpudence eh lahat po yan hiniram natin sa mga Amerikano,” he noted.

“Ginamit po namin, hiniram namin ang jurisprudence ninyo, pati yung libel laws naman hindi lahat ng estado wala ng libel laws sa Amerika. So, wag po kayo magreklamo dahil in-apply lang ng hukom yung jurisprudence na kinakailangan naman, merong some kind of diligence in reporting, at hindi pupuwedeng bara-bara,” Roque also said.

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