Makati court junks 2nd cyber libel vs Rappler CEO after bizman withdrew case

Published June 1, 2021, 7:39 PM

by Jel Santos

A Makati City court dismissed on Tuesday (June 1) the second cyber libel case filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

In the order issued by Makati City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 148, Judge Andres Bartolome Soriano dismissed the case with prejudice after the businessman withdrew the case against the journalist.

The judge noted in his decision that Keng, in his “manifestation with motion” filed on May 25, 2021, prayed for the dismissal of the civil and criminal aspects of the case.

In a statement, Ressa said she was elated with the dismissal of the cyber libel case.

“I’m glad to hear good news. I look forward to seeing the rest of the cases against me and Rappler dropped in the future,” she said.

Lawyer Ted Te, the counsel for Ressa, said the dismissal was based on the complainant’s voluntary withdrawal.

“That led the prosecutor to ask for dismissal: without the complainant, the prosecutor cannot prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Te said the CEO of Rappler was prepared to face and rebut the charge against her.

On February 13, 2020, Keng filed charges against Ressa before the Makati City Prosecutor’s Office over a tweet wherein she posted screenshots of a deleted article of an online news website.

On June 15, 2020, the Manila RTC Branch 46 found Ressa and former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos Jr. guilty of cyber libel. This was the first cyber libel case filed by Keng against Ressa.