Former US Sen. Hillary Clinton backs Maria Ressa after conviction: We must fiercely protest attacks on the press

Former US Senator and first lady Hilary Clinton | Photo from Manila Bulletin

Former U.S Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressed her support for Rappler CEO Maria Ressa who was recently convicted over cyber libel charges by business man Wilfredo Keng.

In a report by Inquirer, the foreign official said that Ressa was convicted because she was doing her job as a journalist.

“Maria Ressa was convicted in the Philippines yesterday for doing her job. As Amal Clooney wrote, the message to other journalists is ‘Keep quiet, or you’ll be next’,” Clinton said on a Twitter post

“We must fiercely protest attacks on the press. They are attacks on democracy,” she added.

On Monday, a Manila court ruled that Ressa and former Rappler researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr were guilty of cyber libel filed by Keng.

The cyber libel case rooted from a complaint by Keng against a May 29 article published by Rappler and written by Santos.

The article was titled “CJ Using SUVs of Controversial Businessman” which was linked to then Chief Justice Renato Corona.

It reported that Corona was found using a 2011 Chevrolet Suburban which was said to be registered under the name of Keng.

The article described the businessman as “shady”, who was allegedly involved in human trafficking and smuggling, among others.

Meanwhile, at that time, the late Chief Justice was facing an impeachment trial. 

Both Santos and Ressa are both out on bail they initially posted upon issuance of arrest warrant in 2019. 

Rappler and Ressa are tangled in a string of legal suits, which also includes tax evasion charges filed by the government.

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