Palace hits Ressa for playing the ‘victim card’

Published July 22, 2020, 4:50 PM

by Genalyn Kabiling

Malacañang has criticized veteran journalist Maria Ressa for alleged playing the “victim card,” insisting Rappler and other media entities continue their operations contrary to allegations of harassment.

Ressa, chief executive officer of Rappler, earlier pleaded not guilty to a tax evasion complaint filed before the Pasig trial court Wednesday.  She claimed that the charges were  political motivated to harass and intimate as well as make journalists afraid of reporting.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.(CAMILLE ANTE / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque Jr.

“It is very evident that Maria Ressa is playing the victim card by talking about the non-renewal of the broadcast franchise of ABS-CBN after filing her ‘not guilty’ plea before a local court,” Presidential spokesman Harry Roque said.

Roque disputed Ressa’s allegation about the harassment on media companies like Rappler. He pointed out that ABS-CBN, Rappler, and other news entities have actually continued to report on the events happening in the country. 

“A good case in point is the ABS-CBN News coverage of the ‘not guilty’ plea of Maria Ressa, which can be read online. There is certainly no truth to Ms. Ressa’s allegation,” he said.

“The press can keep on reporting as long as there is no violation and has the right to continue its operations,” he added.

On the franchise issue of ABS-CBN network, Roque insisted that the grant of a broadcast franchise is the sole and exclusive prerogative of Congress.

He said the Palace has kept neutral stance on the issue “as part of our courtesy and respect to a separate co-equal branch of the government.”