Wednesday, February 6, 2019

DOJ indicts Rappler, Maria Ressa, reporter for cyber libel

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa / Photo credit to the owner

The Department of Justice has finally come to a decision regarding a complaint that was filed by business man Wilfredo Keng, towards news website Rappler, CEO Maria Ressa, and a former Rapler reporter.

It was during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona that Rappler published an article entitled “CJ using SUVs of controversial businessman”. It was on February 4 that that Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Edwin Dayog said that Rappler, Ress and Reynaldo Santor Jr. who wrote the report, committed libel.

He said that it was “clearly defamatory” and fits as a violation under the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.

"Under Article 354 of the Revised Penal Code, every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious, even if it be true, if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. The presumed malice is known as malice in law. The recognized exceptions, where malice in law is not present, are the absolutely or qualifiedly privileged communications," it said.

The publication in question does not fall under any of the absolutely or qualifiedly privileged communications. It is not qualifiedly privileged as a ‘private communication made in the performance of any legal, moral or social duty'," it continued

While Ressa, the company and Santos were charged, the Department of Justice o the otherhand cleared Rappler directors and officers, Manuel Ayala, Nico Jose Nolledo, Glanda Gloria, James Bitanga, Felicia Atienza, Dan Alber de Padua, and Jose Maria Holifeña.

Keng said that he did not lend any vehicle to Corona, which could be the reason for the indictment.

Source: ABS-CBN

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