The bible of Philippine politics

Yan ka na naman sa press freedom! Palace: Due process observed in arrest of Maria Ressa

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POLITIKO - The bible of Philippine Politics

By Prince Golez

Malacanang denied that Rappler chief Maria Ressa had not be accorded due process law following her arrest for alleged violation of the anti-dummy law on Wednesday.

At 7 a.m. today, Ressa was arrested at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport after Judge Acerey Pacheco of the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 265 issued an arrest warrant against her Thursday.

Her case stemmed from a complaint filed by the National Bureau of Investigation in connection with Rappler’s issuance of Philippine Depository Receipts to eBay founder Pierre Omidyar’s Omidyar Network, which is allegedly a violation of foreign ownership limits.

“All warrants of arrest issued by competent courts are to be served the way it was served to her this morning and warrants of arrest are not issued unless the court’s judges determine there is a probable cause which means due process has been observed,” said presidential spokesperson Salvador Panelo on Friday.

Panelo maintained that press freedom has nothing to do with the charges against the veteran journalist.

“She’s charged of a crime and there is a determination of probable cause hence a warrant of arrest has been issued. She should concentrate on defending herself in court. She cannot be always using the freedom of the press as an excuse to attack the administration,” the chief legal counsel added.

For her part, Ressa, upon her return from a trip in San Francisco, United States, described her recent arrest as a “travesty of justice,” also saying that she is being treated like a criminal.

“Will they actually arrest me again?! @rapplerdotcom this is insane. Such violations of the Bill of Rights and the PH Constitution,” she said in a tweet this morning.

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