Amal Clooney to represent embattled Filipino journalist Maria Ressa

by Rachelle Siazon
Jul 9, 2019
2018 Times Person of The Year and veteran Filipino journalist Maria Ressa is all smiles in a photo-op with Hollywood couple George and Amal Clooney on the sidelines of #TrialWatch in April 2019.
PHOTO/S: Maria Ressa Facebook

Nakakuha ng buong suporta ang batikang Filipino journalist at Rappler CEO na si Maria Ressa mula sa international human rights lawyer na si Amal Clooney.

Si Amal Clooney—asawa ng sikat na Hollywood actor na si George Clooney—ay isang Lebanese-British lawyer mula sa kilalang London-based law firm na Doughty Street Chambers.

Kinumpirma ito ni Amal at ng co-legal counsel niyang si Caoilfhionn Gallagher, base sa newsletter ng Doughty Street Chambers, na may petsang July 8, 2019.

"Amal Clooney and Caoilfhionn Gallagher QC, barristers at Doughty Street Chambers specialising in international law and human rights, have confirmed that they will act with a team of international lawyers as counsel to renowned journalist Maria Ressa."

Kalakip ng newsletter ang pahayag ni Clooney kung bakit ginusto niyang makipagtulungan sa Philippine legal team ni Ressa.

"Maria Ressa is a courageous journalist who is being persecuted for reporting the news and standing up to human rights abuses.

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"We will pursue all available legal remedies to vindicate her rights and defend press freedom and the rule of law in the Philippines."

FIGHTING FOR PRESS FREEDOM

Diretsahan ding nabanggit sa press release ng international law firm ang pagsikil diumano sa press freedom sa ilalim ng administrasyon ni President Rodrigo Duterte.

Sabi rito, "Ms Ressa and Rappler have been targeted by the Filipino authorities following their reporting of public interest stories about human rights abuses and the weaponization of social media in the Philippines under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte.

"This has taken various forms, including arrests and criminal charges for alleged securities fraud, tax evasion and ‘cyber-libel’ and the attempted revocation of Rappler’s license to operate."

Sunud-sunod din ang tweets ng co-counsel ni Clooney na si Caoilfhionn Gallagher hinggil dito.

Tweet ni Gallagher, "I am delighted to be leading this superb international legal team with @DoughtyStIntl colleague Amal Clooney, acting for @mariaressa.

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"We will be working with @Can_Yeginsu @KatieLOByrne @CovingtonLLP, & coordinating closely with domestic counsel in Manila."

GRATEFUL MARIA RESSA

Sa newsletter, nakasaad din ang pasasalamat ni Ressa sa pagkakaroon ng international legal team na dedepensa sa kanya.

"I have been targeted and attacked simply for being an independent journalist.

"I am delighted that Amal Clooney and her team will be representing me at the international level to challenge the violations of my rights and those of the media organization I represent."

Ipinost din ni Ressa sa Twitter ang pahayag ni Clooney tungkol sa kaso niya:

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Sa official statement ni Ressa, nilinaw niya na ang tulong na ibibigay sa kanya ni Clooney ay may kinalaman sa pagsulong niya ng press freedom.

Si Atty. Theodore Te at Free Legal Assistance Group ang humahawak sa kasong cyber libel laban kay Ressa at sa Rappler, na patuloy na dinidinig sa Manila Regional Trial Court.

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Ang Angara Abello Concepcion Tegal & Cruz Law Offices (ACCRALAW) naman ang humawak sa corporate cases sangkot si Ressa at Rappler.

"Our Filipino lawyers continue to defend us in our cases now pending in court as well as in the complaints lodged against us with the justice department.

"Our international lawyers will look into how best to protect us under international law and institutions, and will work with our Philippine counsels towards this goal."

MARIA RESSA TO BASHERS

Samantala, sinagot ni Ressa ang bashers niya sa Twitter world, na kinukuwestiyon ang paglipad niya sa London sa kabila ng kanyang kinahaharap na legal cases sa Pilipinas.

Depensa ng batikang journalist, nagbayad siya ng kabuuang $12,400 o PHP636,492 na travel bond, alinsunod sa utos ng korte, para siya ay makaalis ng bansa.

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Hindi rin nagpatinag si Ressa sa pambabatikos ng kanyang detractors pati sa personal na hitsura niya.

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2018 Times Person of The Year and veteran Filipino journalist Maria Ressa is all smiles in a photo-op with Hollywood couple George and Amal Clooney on the sidelines of #TrialWatch in April 2019.
PHOTO/S: Maria Ressa Facebook
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