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Maria Ressa Reacts to the Praise of Malacañang on Her Nobel Peace Award

MARIA RESSA – Rappler founder expresses her reactions towards the congratulatory message of Malacañang Palace on her Nobel Peace Award.

According to the journalist, the Malacañang message contained a “hit” and a “reminder” of her cyberlibel charges. This is what Ressa insisted on a day after Malacaang greeted her after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

“I suppose, thank you, and then what I didn’t appreciate is, almost hand-in-hand, it came with a hit,” she said in an interview over ABS-CBN’s TeleRadyo.

“Hand-in-hand with that [praise] was this reminder — which is a lie — that the cyber libel complaint is filed by an individual, and what the government repeatedly refuses to say is that it takes a government to actually file a criminal case,” she added.

Maria Ressa Malacañang

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Ressa maintained that because her cyber libel case was a government case, the government should take responsibility. She then expresses her gratitude for the message in a flat tone.

“So this is the government’s case, it’s the Department of Justice’s, it is their decision. So they should really own it. So thanks, but not thanks,” Ressa continued.

Ressa is one of two journalists nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for their “efforts to defend freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and sustainable peace.” Ressa shares the Nobel Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, according to the Nobel Prize management.

Ressa is now defending various criminal lawsuits relating to Rappler’s reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, its drug campaign, and the use of social media to attack opponents. As previously reported, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque greeted Ressa but asked that he clear his record in court.

Ressa’s success, according to Harry Roque, is a “victory for a Filipina,” but he said that she still needs to “clean her name before the courts.” Roque also stated that the Philippines’ press freedom is not under threat and that Ressa’s prize was “not a slap on the administration.”

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