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.
The International Criminal Court (ICC) is, well, a criminal court as its name implies. As such, by presuming to be an authority on what is “just” in the Philippines, it is, in effect, competing with Philippine courts for authority. But, see, there is nothing in the Philippine Constitution that allows any entity beyond a Philippine court to rule on criminality in the Philippines. So what is it exactly that gives the ICC license to do that?
By going to the ICC for help to remove a sitting duly-elected president, the Philippine Opposition are acting like traitors. Their actions could be interpretted as acts in contempt of the Philippine judiciary. Should this behaviour be tolerated? It shouldn’t. What the Opposition led by the Yellowtards are doing is roping in the judiciary — a branch of government independent of the executive and legislative branches — into a political battle that, normally, is fought in the popularity contests that characterise the latter two.
Normally, when the Yellowtards have exhausted all ideas on how to grab power legally, they resort to illegal means — i.e., “people power” revolutions. In recent months they’ve discovered another illegal approach to seizing power — enlisting the support of a foreign “criminal court”.
The Yellowtards are, indeed, a nefarious bunch. They’ll stop at nothing, even take measures that could destroy their own country’s democratic institutions, just to achieve their power-hungry ends. They already did that in 1986 and they are doing it today — going as far as getting in bed with Philippine communists (who command a terrorist arm, the New People’s Army or NPA) to expedite the process. They must be stopped.