MANILA, Philippines – Amnesty International Philippines on Friday, March 29, urged people to write to Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menandro Guevarra to drop charges and end harassment of media amid the latest arrest of Rappler CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa.
“You think the trumped up charges against Maria Ressa is a form of harassment but you feel like just posting about it on social media isn’t enough? Here’s your chance to do more. Write to DOJ to express your concern,” Amnesty International Philippines said in a Facebook post.
The post came in after Maria Ressa's arrest over a charge of violating the Anti-Dummy Law.
This call for action was first released by the group after Ressa's first arrest in connection with a cyber libel case filed by the Department of Justice in February 2019.
The human rights group called an urgent action for the "journalist harassed to silence dissent" by writing an appeal to the DOJ secretary to "drop the charges against Maria Ressa and Rappler, which appear to be solely politically motivated and end the harassment of the media, journalists, and critics of the Duterte administration, and take measures to guarantee their right to freedom of expression and assembly."
As of March 2019, a total of 11 complaints and cases are filed against Maria Ressa, Rappler directors, staff since 2018.
"Maria Ressa’s harassment is another example of how the Duterte administration singles out its most vocal critics for politically-motivated prosecutions," the group also added. – Rappler.com
Jene-Anne Pangue is a community and civic engagement specialist of MovePH, Rappler’s civic engagement arm. Her involvement with Rappler started when she became a mover in 2014 and an intern in 2015. Since then, she learned the importance of building communities of action for social good as she continues to work with movers and doers across the country.