Nancy Binay on Ressa's arrest: 'Philippine media now ‘more under threat’ since 1986'

Maria Ressa - Rappler CEO and Senator Nancy Binay / compiled photo from Inquirer and ABS CBN (ctto)

Senator Nancy Binay believes that Philippine media has never been more under threat than it is now since 1986.

This remark from Binay came after the arrest of Rappler founder and CEO Maria Ressa yesterday.

“It is saddening to see how journalists around the world are being restricted, intimidated, silenced, attacked, and constantly threatened even in countries where there is seemingly a democratic space,” 

Binay said in a statement on Thursday as she joined other sectors in denouncing the arrest of Ressa.

The senator added that this kind of act against journalism should not be helplessly accepted as a “convenient necessity to silence those who speak against the status quo.”

“We have fought hard to regain press freedom, and Philippine media has never been more under 
threat as it is now since 1986,” Binay said.

“Freedom of the press is one of the hallmarks of democracy–and crippling the messenger does not make a thousand messengers broken,” she added.

On February 13, Ressa was arrested by National Bureau of Investigation agents in connection with an article titled “CJ using SUVs of controversial businessman” published by Rappler in May 2012.

The Chief Justice being referred to in the article was the late Supreme Court Chief Justice Renato Corona while the businessman was Wilfredo Keng.

Keng, a businessman, does not want to be associated with illegal drugs and trafficking. He reportedly asked Rappler to take down the said article but was instead updated in 2014.

With this, Keng filed the cyber libel case against Ressa.

Ressa is also facing five cases of tax evasion before the Court of Tax Appeals and the Pasig City Regional Trial Court, which she described as “no real basis.”

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