Philippine journalist critical of President Duterte arrested

Philippine journalist and Time Person of the Year arrested on libel charges

Philippine journalist and Time Person of the Year arrested on libel charges

On Feb. 1, as she faced a separate prosecution in her home country over alleged tax violations, Ressa insisted that the charges were politically motivated and created to silence her and her news website, which has reported critically on Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's violent crackdown on crime and authoritarian tendencies.

"We do not want to make a conclusion which may be out of context".

Philippine journalists immediately attacked the surprise serving of the warrant at Rappler headquarters.

"The NBI has mandate to arrest her that's why they did it".

In a statement released after Ressa's arrest on Wednesday, Rappler called the case against it "preposterous and baseless". "We'll go after you too", an officer told reporters, according to Rappler.

"They told me that, 'Ma'am, trabaho lang po ito.' All I will say is ang dami nang tao na [nagsabi na] trabaho lang po but [dapat] tingnan natin kung ano talaga 'yung trabaho na 'yun", she said. It's not just about us, it's not just about me, it's not just about Rappler.

Gemma Mendoza, head of Rappler's research and strategy, said the site's comment boards and reporters' social media accounts are bombarded by accusations of being "presstitutes". Rey said she would be willing to cooperate with the Justice department.

The 55-year-old editor of the Rappler website spent the night in detention at the National Bureau of Investigation in the capital, Manila, after being arrested late on Wednesday on a "cyber libel" charge that carries a 12-year prison sentence.

The arrest was just the latest in a string of politically motivated cases filed against Ressa and Rappler.

"For the accused in the case to exercise her right to bail, the judge needs to known how much bail has been set".

Perete defended the timing of the service of the warrant, saying that it could be served at any time and that "logistical and operational requirements" of the NBI should be considered.

Efforts were made for Ressa to post bail tonight at the Pasay night court.

Ressa has also posted bail on tax evasion charges which she denies and says were politically motivated.

Amnesty International Philippines said Ms Ressa's arrest was based on a "trumped-up libel charge".

"Ms Ressa being a media practitioner and a high ranking officer of a media outfit critical of the president's programmes and policies has nothing to do with the present circumstances she is now in", presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo said, adding that the administration respected the judiciary and did not meddle in how it handles cases in courts.

"The arrest of Maria Ressa is an outrageous attempt by the Philippines government to silence a news organisation that has been courageously investigating corruption and human rights violations in the country", IPI director of advocacy Ravi R. Prasad said in a statement.

The complaint was filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng, which stemmed from an article published by Rappler titled "CJ using SUVs of controversial businessman" during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona.

Keng, however, argues that since Rappler updated the story in 2014, an unlawful act still occurred. The online news organization supposedly promised to take down the story, but never did. Keng said the article was defamatory.

Ressa said this is the sixth active case she is now facing.

"This is what journalists in the Philippines now have to go through", she added. It's weaponization of the law. But I'm processing it and trying to figure out if they are trying to send me a message. "Follow the rule of law".