Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s workplace introduced on Monday it was “very happy” that Maria Ressa had received the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
“It’s a victory for a Filipina and we’re very happy for that,” Harry Roque, Duterte’s spokesperson, stated throughout a press briefing with reporters.
Maria Ressa, a tireless advocate totally free press within the Philippines and the co-founder of the Rappler information web site, received the Nobel Prize on October 8. The web site is thought for its reporting towards Duterte’s hard-line insurance policies.
She received it collectively with Dmitry Muratov of Russia, who based and led Russian impartial newspaper, Novaja Gazeta.
Both winners have a monitor file of defending freedom of speech beneath difficult circumstances.
Spokesperson says ‘press freedom is alive’
Delivering the presidential palaces’ first feedback on Ressa’s victory on Monday, Roque stated the award proved that press freedom was intact within the nation.
“Press freedom is alive and the proof is the Nobel Prize award to Maria Ressa,” Roque stated.
Roque denied the federal government had created a “chilling effect” for information shops, saying anybody who claimed that “should not be a journalist.”
He additionally rejected claims that the prize was a slap within the face for the federal government. The Duterte authorities has taken a number of steps to close down Rappler by charging Ressa and the outlet with a number of counts of tax evasion and cybercrimes.
Duterte has known as Rappler a “fake news” outlet.
Roque, through the briefing, stated “no one has ever been censored in the Philippines.”
Roque additionally informed reporters that Ressa was a “convicted felon” and needed to clear her identify earlier than the courts.
“We leave it our courts to decide on her fate,” he added.
Ressa’s authorized woes
Ressa was convicted of libel on-line in 2020 beneath the Philippines’ anti-cybercrime regulation, which critics say is used as a method to quash dissent.
In response, Ressa has accused the federal government of weaponising social media and the nation’s regulation to focus on media organisations.
In an interview to AFP information company on October 9, Ressa stated she was battling seven court docket instances, together with an enchantment towards the cyber libel conviction, for which she faces as much as six years in jail.
Rappler is thought for its hard-hitting investigative reporting of Duterte’s authorities, together with the federal government’s brutality in cracking down on unlawful medicine.