Former Vice President Jejomar Binay slammed critics and discreditors of Rappler Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maria Ressa after she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.
“Press freedom has been under siege for the past five years. But when journalists persevere under a state of siege, it is because they choose to assert their rights, not because the administration allowed them,” Binay said in a statement on Monday.
“It is a credit to their courage and fealty to their calling. Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize is a recognition of the courage of every Filipino journalist,” he added.
Ressa, together with fellow journalist Dmitry Muratov, were awarded due to their longstanding efforts to safeguard freedom of expression in the Philippines and Russia.
Ressa heads Rappler, a news outlet critical of President Duterte’s regime, while Muratov heads the independent Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta. Both have faced legal and physical threats during their careers, as their respective governments cracked down on the rights of journalists.