Maria Ressa’s arrest test case vs irresponsible journalism – complainant
Businessman Wilfredo Keng, the complainant in Maria Ressa’s cyber-libel case, on Thursday stressed that the latter’s arrest was a test case against “irresponsible journalism.”
“I am deeply grateful that after the conduct of a lengthy, careful and meticulous investigation, the Department of Justice has categorically resolved to criminally charge Rappler, Inc., Maria Angelita Ressa and Reynaldo Santos, Jr. with cyber libel in court because of their publication of clearly defamatory statements against me through their online news platform, the penalty for which crime is imprisonment for a minimum of four years, two months and one day to a maximum of eight years,” Keng said in a statement.
He divulged that Rappler never bothered to get his side regarding the story, adding that fact destroyed his reputation as well as endangered his life.
“Against this kind of limitless harassment and wanton disregard for the rule of law, I was left with no other choice but to file a case and seek protection from our courts,” Keng said.
“This story is not just about an ordinary suit filed by a private and hardworking citizen to clear his name,” Keng said. “It is, in reality, a test case on the how the Philippine legal and judicial system will fare against the dangerous precedent that is being set by one reckless and irresponsible member of the media and of the online community.”