Senator Richard Gordon on Sunday lauded the decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) to grant Rappler CEO Maria Ressa’s petition to allow her to travel to Oslo, Norway and personally receive her Nobel Peace Prize for 2021.
Gordon said the CA’s decision sends a strong message to the whole world about the true state of the Philippine’s constitutionally guaranteed freedom of expression and of the press.
“We are so pleased with the court’s decision allowing our very own Filipino Nobel laureate Maria Ressa to receive personally the Philippines’ first Nobel Peace Prize award,” said Gordon, who chairs the Senate Justice and Human Rights Committee.
“This global recognition is indeed a cause of celebration for our country and for all freedom-loving Filipinos. Regardless of our political affiliation or differences, we should celebrate with her and for the causes she bravely stands for,” he stressed.
The CA’s Speecial 7th Division has issued a resolution last Dec. 3 allowing Ressa to attend the Nobel Peace prize Award ceremony, effectively junking the Office of the Solicitor General’s bid to block her travel.
The OSG claimed that Ressa is a “flight risk” citing that her frequent criticisms of the Philippine legal processes in the international community demonstrates her lack of respect for the judicial system.
But the CA justices ruled that the travel for a Nobel Prize was “necessary and urgent” and that “there is no option, for her to virtually receive the award, or through a representative.”
Besides Ressa, Russian journalist Dimitry Muratov, was also awarded the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize. The honor marks their efforts to “safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.”
Gordon earlier filed Senate Resolution No. 925 seeking to confer upon ressa the Senate’s high acclamation for her historic achievement as the first Filipino to receive the prestigious 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, citing her as a woman of courage.
The senator said Ressa deserves the Senate Medal of Excellence, an honor given to those who have given pride to the country desptie the constant challenges posed against her liberty and integrity as a journalist.