On the Manila RTC’s Cyberlibel Verdict and the Issue of Press Freedom

Under our judicial system, due process does not end with a guilty verdict rendered by a regional trial court. Ms. Ressa and Mr. Santos can always appeal the decision before the appellate court and the Supreme Court, if necessary. This is a guaranteed right of every Filipino under our existing laws.

On the issue of freedom of the press, which is guaranteed under our Constitution, I’m sure the Supreme Court will address and rule on the issue of constitutionality, if it is not addressed by the Court of Appeals to the satisfaction of both Ms. Ressa and Mr. Santos.

Other than that, I am not familiar with the details much less the merits of the case. It will not be appropriate for me to either denounce or hail the RTC’s decision.