Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s workplace introduced on Monday it was “very blissful” that Maria Ressa had received the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.
“It’s a victory for a Filipina and we’re very blissful for that,” Harry Roque, Duterte’s spokesperson, mentioned throughout a press briefing with reporters.
Maria Ressa, a tireless advocate free of charge press within the Philippines and the co-founder of the Rappler information website, received the Nobel Prize on October 8. The positioning is understood for its reporting in opposition to Duterte’s hard-line insurance policies.
She received it collectively with Dmitry Muratov of Russia, who based and led Russian impartial newspaper, Novaja Gazeta.
Each winners have a monitor file of defending freedom of speech underneath difficult circumstances.
Spokesperson says ‘press freedom is alive’
Delivering the presidential palaces’ first feedback on Ressa’s victory on Monday, Roque mentioned 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 mentioned.
Roque denied the federal government had created a “chilling impact” for information retailers, saying anybody who claimed that “shouldn’t 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 “pretend information” outlet.
Roque, throughout the briefing, mentioned “nobody has ever been censored within the Philippines.”
Roque additionally instructed reporters that Ressa was a “convicted felon” and needed to clear her identify earlier than the courts.
“We depart it our courts to resolve on her destiny,” he added.
Ressa’s authorized woes
Ressa was convicted of libel on-line in 2020 underneath the Philippines’ anti-cybercrime regulation, which critics say is used as a way 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 mentioned she was battling seven court docket instances, together with an enchantment in opposition to the cyber libel conviction, for which she faces as much as six years in jail.
Rappler is understood for its hard-hitting investigative reporting of Duterte’s authorities, together with the federal government’s brutality in cracking down on unlawful medication.