The executive branch has a duty to enforce the law, the presidential spokesman said following President Duterte’s recent pronouncement that he was gathering information to expose veteran journalist Maria Ressa as a fraud, Malacañang said Thursday.
According to Presidential spokesman Harry Roque, it was prudent to just wait for the results of the “investigation.”
“Well, iyan naman po ang trabaho ng Ehekutibo – patuparin (sic) ang batas. So hayaan na po natin ang imbestigasyon, at sa takdang panahon ay ilalabas naman po iyan. (Well that’s the job of the Executive — enforce the law. So let the investigation take its course and at the proper time, the results will be released),” Roque said during a press conference in Davao City aired on state television when asked about the reason behind the President’s action.
“I don’t have to annotate kung ano ang sinabi ng Presidente, mayroon pa pong hinahanda, so hintayin po natin kung ano pa iyong hinahanda. (I don’t have to annotate what the President said. Something is being prepared so let us wait for whatever is being prepared),” he added.
In his taped public address early Wednesday, the President called Ressa a “fraud” and pledged to expose someday her “incongruity.”
The President asked for more time as he dropped hints about building a case against the Rappler CEO. Ressa was recently convicted of cyber libel by a Manila court in connection with an alleged defamatory article against a businessman.
“Si Ressa is a fraud. Maniwala kayo (Believe me). Give us time. Too early for you to enjoy ‘yung mga award-award mo (enjoy your awards). You are a fraud actually,” the President said. “We are just compiling at this stage and someday in bold letters, we will show your incongruity. You are a fraud,” he added
On the call of the European parliament members to the government to drop the charges against Ressa, Roque explained that the cyber libel case was filed any a private individual. He said the complainant won the case since the country’s libel laws protect the rights of privacy of private individuals.