The sentiments of Maria Ressa are understandable given her present state of mind as a result of the guilty verdict handed down by a Manila trial court.
Ms. Ressa can speak and say whatever she wants against the current administration. It is her right. It is her freedom of expression. It goes to show that there is no stifling of free speech in the country and that democracy in the Philippines remains vibrant.
We wish to remind Ms. Ressa and her supporters that she transgressed the law when she maligned the reputation of a private individual. As the Rappler CEO herself said, “If you don’t use your rights, you will lose them.” The private individual who Ms. Ressa besmirched simply exercised his right against abusive persons who wield power and influence, including journalist like Maria Ressa. In law as what we say, one’s freedom ends where someone else’s rights begins. Thus, I advise Ms. Ressa to just face the complaint/decision head-on.