Michael Chukwuebuka, Reporting
PHILIPPINE veteran journalist, Maria Ressa and her news site, Rappler have been acquitted by a court on Wednesday 18th, over tax evasion charges.
The Noble Peace Prize winner, Ressa, who is also the head of an online news site, Rappler, earned a reputation for her in-depth reporting and tough scrutiny of the country’s former president, Rodrigo Duterte and his deadly drugs war.
Reacting to the verdict, Ressa said:
“This acquittal is not just for Rappler, it is for every Filipino who has ever been unjustly accused.
“The charges were politically motivated and brazen abuse of power,” she said.
According to reports, the tax evasion case stemmed from accusations by the state revenue agency that Rappler had omitted from its tax returns the proceeds of a 2015 sale of depository receipts to foreign investors.
The 59-year-old journalist has been fighting a string of government lawsuits that have stoked international concern about media harassment in the Philippines, which earned her the Noble Peace Prize in 2021.