MANILA, Philippines – The National Democratic Institute (NDI) and its chair and former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright denounced on Tuesday, November 20, what it called “measures being taken by the Philippine government to silence Rappler” and its CEO, Maria Ressa.
“Democracy cannot live without the freedom of the press. The brave work of independent media is necessary to protect the truth and defend democratic discourse,” NDI Chairman Madeleine Albright said in a statement.
On November 9, Philippine Department of Justice indicted Rappler Holdings Corporation for tax evasion and failure to file tax returns. Rappler maintained that the latest case is “a clear form of continuing intimidation and harassment” against the organization.
The NDI said this announcement is “the latest in the string of legal measures triggered by the Philippine government and brought against the independent news outfit since January 2017.”
The NDI said it joins human rights groups, independent media, and international organizations around the world in supporting Rappler and Ressa “in their ongoing work to protect independent critical reporting.”
In 2017, Rappler received NDI’s W. Averell Harriman Democracy Award for its work in fighting disinformation and fake news. – Rappler.com
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