Palace: Ressa’s Oslo trip up to court

Helen Flores, Paolo Romero - The Philippine Star
Palace: Ressaâs Oslo trip up to court
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa inside the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila on Thursday, February 14, 2019.
The STAR / Kriszjohn Rosales, file

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang yesterday said it would not intervene in Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s request to leave the country to accept her Nobel Peace Prize in Norway next month.

“You know, it’s already in the court. We leave it to the courts to decide,” acting presidential spokesman Karlo Nograles said at the Laging Handa media briefing.

“So, as a coequal branch of government, of course we respect the process of our courts,” he said.

The Office of the Solicitor General has opposed Ressa’s bid to personally receive the Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo on Dec. 10, claiming she is a “flight risk.”

Ressa has requested the Court of Appeals to allow her to fly directly to Norway from the United States where she has also been allowed to give a series of lectures. She had been seeking permission due to her libel and tax evasion charges.

Ressa’s lawyers Amal Clooney and Caoilfhionn Gallagher appealed to the Duterte administration to drop cases against her.

Ressa won the Nobel Peace Prize 2021 along with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov.

“The Philippines must drop all cases against Ms. Ressa. And the world must hold the Philippines to account if it fails to do so,” Gallagher said.

“I hope the Philippine authorities will now stop persecuting her and other journalists and that this prize helps to protect the press around the world,” Clooney said.

Sen. Richard Gordon, who chairs the Senate committee on justice and human rights, said Ressa’s award is the first for the Philippines and “sets the momentum in the right direction of our individual and collective efforts to allow a culture of truth-telling to prevail in our country.”

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