SolGen blocks Maria Ressa's trip to Norway to receive Nobel Prize; calls Ressa a "flight risk"

by Rachelle Siazon
Nov 25, 2021
Office of The Solicitor General blocks Maria Ressa personal attendance to receive Nobel Prize
The Office of The Solicitor General calls Rapper CEO Maria Ressa a "flight risk."
PHOTO/S: Maria Ressa Facebook

Si Maria Ressa ang kauna-unahang Filipino na paparangalan ng prestihiyosong Nobel Peace Prize sa Norway.

Sa December 10, 2021 nakatakdang ganapin ang awarding ceremony kasabay ng death anniversary ng founder ng award-giving body, ang Swedish industrialist na si Alfred Nobel.

Napiling awardee ang batikang journalist at Rappler CEO na si Ressa dahil sa kanyang "courageous fight for freedom of expression" sa bansa.

Pero hinahadlangan ng Office of the Solicitor General, o abogado ng gobyerno, ang mosyon ni Ressa sa Court of Appeals na payagan siyang bumiyahe mula December 8 to 12, 2021.

Ayon sa SolGen, walang naihaing sapat na argumento si Ressa para patunayang may "necessity" at "urgency" para personal niyang daluhan ang awarding ceremony.

May option naman daw na mag-video conference na lang ito.

Diin pa ng Office of the Solicitor General: "There is no showing that accused-appellant Ressa's in person attendance thereto is necessary, or her non-attendance in person to the events in Oslo, Norway would cause irreparable damage or prejudice to her."

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OSG CALLS MARIA RESSA A "FLIGHT RISK"

Itinuturing din ng OSG na "flight risk" si Ressa dahil hindi raw kaila ang paggamit nito ng "online fora" para almahan ang paghatol sa kanya na guilty sa cyber libel noong June 2020.

"Essentially, these actions imply that accused-appellant Ressa no longer believes that our judiciary is still capable of dispensing impartial justice.

"With her conviction, coupled with her views on the justice system, accused-appellant Ressa can be considered a flight risk," katuwiran ng OSG.

Kinasuhan ng cyber libel si Ressa dahil sa May 2012 investigative article ng Rappler.

Bagamat ipinatupad ang Cyber Crime Law noon lamang September 2012, nakasuhan si Ressa dahil itinuring na "republication" ang ginawang update sa artikulo noong February 2014.

MARIA RESSA'S APPEAL TO LET HER TRAVEL TO NORWAY

Noong November 3 naghain ng mosyon si Ressa sa Court of Appeals para payagan siyang personal na tanggapin ang Nobel Peace Prize.

Lalo pa't once-in-a-lifetime opportunity ang maihanay sa mga tanyag na awardees nito.

Katuwiran pa ng abogado ni Ressa, hindi maituturing na flight risk ang mamamahayag dahil sumusunod ito sa lahat ng proseso hanggang sa pagpiyansa nito sa kabila ng hatol.

Noong November 1, pinayagan ng Court of Appeals ang pagbiyahe ni Ressa sa Boston, Massachusetts para sa series of lectures nito sa Harvard Kennedy School kunsaan isa rin itong fellow.

Maituturing daw na "necessary at urgent" iyon, ayon sa korte.

Hiningan si Ressa ng itinerary ng kanyang trip, kunsaan kasama ang pagbisita niya sa mga magulang sa Florida.

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The Office of The Solicitor General calls Rapper CEO Maria Ressa a "flight risk."
PHOTO/S: Maria Ressa Facebook
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