Press Release
January 18, 2023

Statement of Senator Risa Hontiveros on the acquittal of Maria Ressa and Rappler Holdings Co. by the Court of Tax Appeals

I welcome and commend the decision of the Court of Tax Appeals First Division acquitting Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and Rappler Holdings Corp. of tax evasion charges.

The dismissal of these trumped up cases is an important win for free and defiant journalism in the Philippines.

I hope that the other charges against Maria Ressa and Rappler will soon be similarly dropped, as these were only intended to silence and intimidate members of the media from reporting on and speaking against the excesses of the previous administration, particularly on the bloody, abusive and failed war on drugs.

This ongoing campaign of harassment against Maria Ressa and Rappler, as well as other independent and critical journalists, only wastes government funds, resources and attention. These vindictive efforts should end immediately.

In a democracy, truth telling and sharing independent views is not a crime - even if it irks and annoys the powers that be. I am one with our nation's free press in continuing to hold the line and in fighting for a truly free and democratic nation.

As always, courage on.

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