Rappler CEO Maria Ressa | CMFR File Photo

[Philippines] Ressa’s latest arrest yet another sign of government’s unflagging harassment of media —SEAPA

Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa was arrested Friday morning, 29 March 2019, by Philippine authorities soon after deplaning at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal over a charge of violation of the anti-dummy law.

Ressa, along with other Rappler board members, is also facing other charges under the Securities Regulation Code.

Rappler is now battling seven active legal cases out of a total of 11.

“This absurd number is a telltale indication of the government’s unabating harassment of an independent media that is committed to fulfilling its duty to inform the public while shining a light on public governance,” said Tess Bacalla, executive director of Southeast Asian Press Alliance (SEAPA).

SEAPA denounces this latest move of the government against Ressa and the rest of Rappler, and calls anew on the Duterte administration to drop all charges against the online news outfit.

“The continuous weaponization of the laws to satisfy the whims of a government that would not countenance determined independence and dogged scrutiny by an indefatigable media is an unmistakable frontal attack on press freedom and goes against the grain of the Philippines’s hard-won democracy,” said Bacalla.

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