By Mario B. Casayuran
Senator Panfilo M. Lacson said on Monday that under the Philippine judicial system, due process does not end with a guilty verdict rendered by a regional trial court (RTC).
Lacson, chairman of the Senate national defense and security committee, was referring to the decision against Maria Ressa, Rappler Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and former researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr., who were convicted of cyber libel by the RTC this morning.
‘’Ms Maria Ressa and Mr. Santos can always appeal the decision to the appellate court and the Supreme Court if necessary,’’ he said.
‘’This is a guaranteed right of every Filipino under our existing laws,’’ Lacson, a former Philippine National Police (PNP) chief, added.
‘’Other than that, since I am not familiar with the details much less the merits of the case, I think it will not be appropriate for me to either denounce or hail the court’s decision,’’ he said.