By Jomar Canlas/Manila Times
The Department of Justice (DoJ) over the weekend dared Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa to stop the “theatrics” and file charges if she had been harassed and abused.
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra challenged Ressa to bring them to court along with the government over her indictment and arrest last week for a cyber-libel complaint filed by a Filipino-Chinese businessman.
The DoJ chief was unmoved by Ressa’s threat to hold the government accountable for her arrest. Guevarra said they were just doing their job and there was nothing personal against Ressa.
He added that any person who shall violate the law must be held accountable.
“We are performing our duties to prosecute anyone who breaks the law. We are confident that her allegations will not prosper because we have not violated any law. So just go ahead and bring it on,” Guevarra said.
According to the Justice secretary, there is no truth to Ressa’s allegation that there was “selective justice” committed against her and that there was a “weaponisation of the law” involved in the case.
Guevarra said offenders and violators of the law must be held accountable for their acts. He pointed out that press freedom was a right, but not absolute.
Equal protection must be accorded to every person whether in the media or not, Guevarra said.
“Press freedom is not absolute. The rights of other citizens deserve equal protection,” he added.
Guevarra advised Ressa to face the charges against her in court without any “theatrics.”
President Rodrigo Duterte’s spokesman, Salvador Panelo, earlier said the Rappler CEO was enjoying the attention that resulted from her arrest and
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