A Manila court has been asked by Rappler and its CEO Maria Ressa to dismiss a cyber libel case filed against them by the Justice department.
Rappler, Ressa and former reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr., sought the junking of information forwarded by DOJ prosecution against them. The information cited that:
“That on or about 19 February 2014, the above named accused, did then and there willfully, unlawfully, and knowingly republish an article entitled ‘CJ using SUVs of Controversial Businessman.’”
It then lifted parts of the report first published by Rappler in 2012, which, citing an intelligence report, said businessman Wilfredo Keng, who supposedly owns the vehicle seen being used by then-Chief Justice Renato Corona, was allegedly involved in illegal activities, including human trafficking and drug smuggling.
The petitioners argued that “any doubt must be resolved in the accused’s favor” even if “multiple republication does not apply” in their case and that the prosecution’s theory is based on an application of law, even assuming that a new period of prescription may be conjured following the implementation of the Anti-Cybercrime Act in 2012.