Tax evasion is a domestic issue that can be handled internally within the Philippines through its criminal justice system. It seems, however, that Rappler CEO Maria Ressa begs to be above that system and, in essence, above Philippine law itself.
News has recently come out that celebrity lawyer Amal Clooney will be “representing” Ressa in some sort of case seemingly framed around, you guessed it, “media freedom”…
“Maria Ressa is a courageous journalist who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses. We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines,” Clooney said in a press statement released by London-based law firm Doughty Street Chambers announcing the relationship.
In what court will this legal battle be fought? Nowhere in this CNN International “report” are such specifics mentioned.
What is disturbing is that the charges against Ressa are very specific. But Clooney, disrespectfully lumps all these together into an arbitrary bucket CNN suggests she calls “charges that critics say are designed to silence her.”
Wow. Case framed around a flakey opinion issued by a nebulous community arbitrarily labelled “Duterte’s critics”. Sounds like a real winner of a case there.
Filipinos should watch this space. Perhaps there is yet another case to be filed against Ressa unfolding here — one that could be built around her very evident contempt for the Philippines’ very own and fully-functional criminal justice system.