Manila court denies Rappler appeal, upholds cyber-libel conviction
Philippine journalist Maria Ressa (C) speaks during a press conference after attending the court's verdict promulgation in Manila on June 15, 2020. Ressa was convicted on June 15 of cyber libel and sentenced to prison in a case that watchdogs say marks a dangerous erosion of press freedom under President Rodrigo Duterte.
AFP/Ted Aljibe

Manila court denies Rappler appeal, upholds cyber-libel conviction

Ratziel San Juan (Philstar.com) - July 25, 2020 - 2:53pm

MANILA, Philippines — The motion for partial reconsideration filed by Rappler's CEO Maria Ressa and former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. seeking to reverse their cyber libel conviction was denied by a Manila court on Friday.

RELATED: Ressa, Santos appeal cyber libel conviction

In a 13-page order, Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa of the Manila Regional Trial Court Branch 46 dismissed the said appeal saying that no new arguments were raised regarding the matters of republication, the liability and non-presentation of Ressa and Santos, and the damages suffered by private complainant Wilfredo Keng.

Montesa this time cited a Supreme Court ruling that holds a longer prescriptive period —the time to bring forth legal action— 15 years as opposed to 12 years for cyber-libel.

She reasoned that they cannot apply the one-year prescriptive period under the Revised Penal Code as argued by Ressa and Santos.

“After a careful evaluation of the arguments of the parties, as well as the records of this case, the Court finds that Motion for Partial Reconsideration should be DENIED for lack of merit. This court finds that there is no cogent or compelling reason to reconsider its Decision dated June 15, 2020,” read the order dated Friday.

RELATED: Court convicts Rappler's Ressa on cyber libel

Ressa and Santos may opt to proceed to the Court of Appeals for a review of the said cyber libel case.

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