Wilfredo Keng slams Rappler, Ressa, Santos as they “continue to hold themselves high above any accountability” for “defamatory” article

Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and a screen-capped image of Wilfredo Keng's official statement from Philstar (ctto)

The businessman who filed a case cyber libel charges against Rappler, its chief executive officer Maria Ressa and former reporter Reynaldo Santos has finally spoken on Thursday, following Ressa’s arrest on Wednesday.

Wilfredo Keng, on his official statement said that the three “continue to hold themselves high above any accountability…” for the article that he said defamed him.

Keng was allegedly described in Rappler’s article in 2012 as a “controversial” businessman engaged in “shady deals” and who was linked to illegal drugs, murder and human trafficking.

The businessman said that the involved individuals “have not once denied having published clear defamations against me, but simply continue to hide behind a single claim: that unfortunately for me, I allegedly can no longer complain.”

Keng said the three also “attempt to mislead the public by releasing ‘news’ that my complaint against them was purportedly ‘dismissed’ by the National Bureau of Investigation..”

“Rappler’s inaccurate, nay reckless reports and statements continue to be quoted by other news outfits, thereby perpetuating the clearly incorrect version of the story. Such reckless, premature and inaccurate reporting on the government processes reek of actual malice and cyber bullying and border on the intentional propagation of ‘fake news,'” Keng also said

In the same statement, Keng revealed that before pursuing any legal actions against the three, he “tried to formally and informally communicate with Rappler in order to have the said article taken down, clear my name and restore my reputation, at least to the extent possible given the fact that irreparable damage had already been done, multiplied a million-fold because Rappler’s website continues to be accessible by the whole world.”

He also noted that on one from Rappler’s side attempted to get his statement on the “crimes they wrongly imputed to me, or to fact-check their baseless attacks against my name”

According to Keng, he never had a criminal record and for “almost four decades” since he started working, he never fails to secure official clearance from the (NBI) certifying that he has never been involved in any criminal or illegal activities.

“Since the 1980s, I have never been investigated by or summoned before any law enforcement agency in connection with any alleged criminal act, much less have I been indicted, arrested, detained or convicted of any crime in the Philippines,” he said.

Keng also expressed gratitude that “after the conduct of a lengthy and meticulous investigation, the Department of Justice has categorically resolved to criminally charge (them) with cyber libel in court…”

“In the end, this story is not just about an ordinary suit filed by a private and hardworking citizen to clear his name. It is, in reality, a test case on how the Philippine legal and judicial system will fare against the dangerous precedent that is being set by one reckless and irresponsible member of the media and of the online community,” Keng said.

Source: Eagle News

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