Philippine opposition leader and Vice President Leni Robredo said Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize award is a testament to the veteran journalist’s resolve to stand up for the truth.
Robredo, who is seeking the presidency in the 2022 elections, took to Twitter on Friday, October 8, to congratulate Ressa on her historic Nobel victory.
“Congratulations to @mariaressa for being awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize! This is a recognition and affirmation of your tireless efforts to hold the line for truth and accountability. I applaud your courage. Mabuhay ka (Cheers to you)!” said the Vice President.
Robredo shared a photo of her standing beside Ressa taken way back in 2019 during the awarding ceremonies for the Ka Pepe Diokno Human Rights Awards, of which Ressa was a recipient along with Bishop Pablo David.
Ressa and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2021 on Friday in recognition of the role of a free press in modern times.
They won the prize “for their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”
Ressa is the first Filipino recipient of the prestigious award, and the first woman so far in this year’s roster of laureates.
The Rappler CEO has been the target of attacks for her media organization’s critical coverage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. She is a key leader in the global fight against disinformation.
Robredo has among the loudest voices in the opposition resisting Duterte’s ongoing crackdown against the free press in the Philippines.
In 2019, the Vice President condemned Ressa’s arrest and called it “political harassment” by the Duterte regime. Then in 2020, when Ressa was convicted of cyber libel for a story she did not even write nor edit, Robredo said it would have a “chilling” effect on the freedoms enjoyed by ordinary citizens.
Robredo believes democracy can survive only if there is a free press, and governments must do their part to respect and protect journalists across the world. – Rappler.com