Philippines rearrests Duterte critic journalist Maria Ressa

Philippines rearrests Duterte critic journalist Maria Ressa

Philippines rearrests Duterte critic journalist Maria Ressa

She told CNN via WhatsApp that she was posting bail - the seventh time that the beleaguered, award-winning journalist has been forced to do so in recent months. "Ressa steers Rappler, an online news site she helped found, through a superstorm of the two most formidable forces in the information universe: social media and a populist President with authoritarian inclinations", Time wrote. "I am treated like a criminal", Ressa said in a television interview.

"All of these cases have been in the a year ago and a few months, and except for the cyber libel, (they) all stemmed from one event, which is Omidyar Network's investment in the Philippines Depositary Receipts", Ressa explained, adding that Rappler would fight each case in court.

Ms Ressa was well aware that police officers would be waiting for her at the airport, having been told by her lawyers that she should expect to be taken into custody upon landing in Manila.

Ressa's posting bail is also proof of the presumption of her innocence, said Panelo, adding her attacks against President Rodrigo Duterte's administration makes her "walking testament of the robust exercise of the freedom of the press and of expression in the land". "It's sad to see my nation like this - it's an abuse of power and a weaponisation of the law".

Police served Ressa an arrest warrant issued by the Pasig Regional Trial Court Branch 265 on Thursday, a day prior to Ressa's return to the country from a San Francisco trip.

"This case against unprecedented and speaks volumes of the Duterte administration's determination to shut the website down for its credible and consistent reporting on the government", said Carlos Conde of Human Rights Watch.

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Duterte has made no secret of his annoyance at Rappler and has sparred frequently with its reporters, who are known for scrutinizing his policies and appointments and for questioning the accuracy of his sweeping, often bellicose statements.

"She can not be using her arrest as a violation of the freedom of the press and make it as an excuse to attack the government".

Her company now faces 11 complaints. She wants to be treated differently - that can not be done. Rappler has monitored and reported extensively on networks spreading disinformation, particularly on Facebook which counts the Philippines as one of its biggest markets.

She said this is proof of the intimidation of the media.

"Rappler knows the best and the worst of what Facebook can do", she wrote in blog post last January. That is why we continue to work with Facebook. defining facts and looking at networks that spread lies. "I don't think this is about me or about Rappler".

Her arraignment and pretrial conference is set on April 10. "This is not the Philippines I voluntarily chose as my home country".

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