Several groups urged the government to allow journalist Maria Ressa to travel to Norway to receive her Nobel Peace Prize award on Dec. 10.
In a joint statement, Alternative Law Groups, Ateneo de Davao University Legal Aid Services Office, Ateneo de Naga University College of Law, Ateneo Human Rights Center, Communication Foundation for Asia, Congress of Teachers/Educators for Nationalism and Democracy (CONTEND), Fact Check Philippines, iDEFEND Movement, KARAPATAN, and Lyceum of the Philippines said the historic occasion “cannot be understated” and Ressa’s presence in the ceremony is “symbolic, urgent, and necessary.”
“This brings great honor and recognition not only to Ms. Ressa but to the Philippines, Filipinos both present and unborn, and all journalists whom she represents through this award,” the group stated.
The Office of the Solicitor General opposed Ressa’s request to travel to Norway to receive her Nobel Peace Prize, saying she is “a flight risk.”
“Ms. Ressa’s conviction for Cybel Libel in 2020 is still under appeal, and until the same has been decided with finality, she is presumed innocent. She was allowed in the past to leave the country 36 times on bail, and returned and made herself available when the Court required her presence,” the group added.
“We reiterate our supplication for the Honorable Court of Appeals and other concerned agencies to grant and allow Ms. Ressa’s Motion to Travel to Oslo, Norway.”
Ressa was conferred with the 2022 Nobel Peace Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov for their “efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition of democracy and lasting peace.”
Also among the undersigned organizations are Movement Against Disinformation Philippines, Now You Vote, Philippine Bar Association, Philippine Chapter — NYSBA International, Pinoy Media Center, Sentro ng Alternatibong Lingap Panlegal Inc. (SALIGAN), SAMASA Alumni Organization, Inc., Sanggunian ng mga Mag-aaral ng Paaralang Loyola ng Ateneo de Manila, Foundation for Media Alternatives, Wiki Sociaty of the Philippines, Adamson University College of Law Dean Anna Maria D. Abad, and Atty. Gregorio Rafael.