Palace tells "American" Ressa not to trample PH court
Malacañang said on Wednesday that Rappler CEO Maria Ressa should not "trample" on the country's institutions after a trial court found her guilty of cyber libel.
Calling Ressa an American citizen, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said since he is an officer of the court being a lawyer, he would protect the court.
"Our institutions here are working and the decision of our court is correct," he said.
If Ressa and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. felt that the decision of Manila Regional Trial Court Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa was wrong, they can appeal.
However, he said Ressa "should not discredit our institution."
"I am an officer of the court, so now, I'm telling Maria Ressa, don't trample on our institutions here in the Philippines, because she is an American," Roque said.
He vowed to defend the court who issued the verdict against Ressa and Santos.
"It's your fault that you had bad journalism and bad legal defense that's why you were convicted,"" Roque added.
Ressa said the court's decision, while not unexpected, was a blow to the journalists and the Filipinos as she urged them to protect their rights.
Roque reiterated that there was "no suppression of freedom of the press." Celerina Monte/DMS