Originally published on the CMFR website on 3 December 2018.
CMFR/PHILIPPINES — Rappler CEO and Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) President Maria Ressa posted bail on December 3, 2018 at Branch 265 of the Pasig City Regional Trial Court (RTC) in connection with charges that RHC violated the Tax Code.
Judge Danilo Buemio of the Pasig City RTC issued a warrant of arrest against Ressa on 28 November 2018 for alleged violation of Section 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997. The court said it found probable cause to prosecute Rappler for its failure to declare correct information on its Value Added Tax return for the second quarter of 2015.
The Rappler CEO posted bail of PHP60,000. The judge issued a release order immediately after bail was posted.
Ressa said in a statement that she “surrendered to the court this morning, went through the process of what a criminal would go through, and filed bail without surrendering my right to question the Pasig court’s jurisdiction over this tax case.”
Ressa said the charges are “politically motivated” and “a clear case of harassment.”
The case is just one of the five tax cases filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) against RHC. Four others were filed at the court of Tax Appeals on November 26 and 28. (See: “DOJ indicts Maria Ressa, Rappler Holdings Co. for tax evasion“)
Rappler is also facing other legal challenges including the revocation of its incorporation papers in January, which followed the banning of Rappler from covering the President, and a cyber-libel complaint against Ressa and one of its reporters.
Against Despotism: Statement of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility on the issuance of a warrant of arrest against Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria RessaCMFR statement