Open lesbian and first Philippine journalist, Maria Ressa received Nobel Peace Prize.
“For her courageous fight for freedom of expression” in the face of authoritarian governments.
Maria Angelita Ressa born October 2, 1963. Filipino-American journalist and author, the co-founder and CEO of Rappler and the first Filipino Nobel Prize laureate.
She previously spent nearly two decades working as a lead investigative reporter in Southeast Asia for CNN.
Also, a Time’s Person of the Year 2018 for being one of the journalists from around the world combating fake news.
On February 13, 2019, Arrested by Philippine authorities for cyber libel.
Relating to accusations that Rappler published a false news story concerning businessman Wilfredo Keng.
Maria Ressa Legal issues
On June 15, 2020, a court in Manila found her guilty of cyber libel under the controversial Anti-Cybercrime law.
Condemned by human rights groups and journalists as an attack on press freedom.
Maria is a prominent critic of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
Her arrest and conviction, seen by many as a politically motivated act by Duterte’s government.
Ressa is one of the 25 leading figures on the Information and Democracy Commission launched by Reporters Without Borders.
2021 Nobel Peace Prize received jointly with Dmitry Muratov for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.
Ressa first interviewed Rodrigo Duterte, the 16th president of the Philippines, in the 1980s when he was mayor of Davao.
She again interviewed him in 2015 during his presidential election campaign, where he confessed to killing three people when he was mayor.
Under her leadership, Rappler has consistently criticised Duterte’s policies, especially his policies on the war on drugs with their stories demonstrating that the abuses were being carried out by the police with Duterte’s approval. The website under her stewardship also wrote about the alleged pro-Duterte online “troll army” which according to their article, were pushing out fake news stories and manipulating the narrative around his presidency.
In July 2017, in his State of the Union speech, Rodrigo Duterte declared Rappler to be “fully owned” by the Americans and hence in violation of the constitution.
He also said, “Not only is Rappler’s news fake, but it being Filipino is also fake.
” Subsequently, in August 2017, the Philippine securities and exchange commission (SEC) initiated an investigation against Rappler and demanded to check its documents. In January 2018, it revoked Rappler’s license to do business.
The case was sent to the court of appeals and thrown out of the SEC for having no basis.
Duterte told a Rappler reporter in 2018. “If you are trying to throw garbage at us, then the least that we can do is explain.” “how about you? Are you also clean?”
The government under his leadership revoked the site’s operating license.