CA junks Rappler appeal on cyberlibel case

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THE Court of Appeals junked the appeal of Maria Ressa, Nobel Peace Prize winner and CEO of news website Rappler and former writer Reynaldo Santos, Jr. against a Manila RTC decision on their cyberlibel case.

The appeal rooted from a decision handed out in 2020 by Manila Regional Trial Court meting a 6-year imprisonment against Ressa and Santos.

Rappler confirmed receipt by Ressa and Santos of the CA’s decision. Their legal team is now studying the CA’s decision and will use any remaining legal remedies, including bringing the case up to the Supreme Court.

This is also an opportunity, according to a Rappler statement, “for the Supreme Court take a second look at the constitutionality of cyber libel and the continuing criminalization of libel, especially in light of the freedom of expression and freedom of the press.”

In a decision by the Manila RTC, Ressa and Santos were sentenced to imprisonment from six months and one day up to six years.

The two were also ordered to pay P200,000 each for moral and exemplary damages to complainant Wilfredo Keng.

The case stemmed from news published in Rappler involving Keng on issues such as human trafficking and drug smuggling.

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