The Manila Regional Trial Court on June 15 convicted and sentenced Rappler CEO and journalist Maria Ressa to prison for 6 years due to violation of Republic Act 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act.
Businessman Wilfredo Keng previously filed a cyberlibel complaint against Ressa at the Office of the City Prosecutor of Makati after making false allegations against him. He was also involved in Rappler’s article in 2012, citing an “investigative report” which connected him to unlawful acts like human trafficking and drug dealing.
Keng noted in his press conference that winning the case would have assured the citizens that any false information published will be dealt with by the law and will strengthen their respect for the Philippine media in the years to come.
He also clarified that his case is not a fight against press freedom, but rather for the years he suffered from Rappler’s false accusations against him, which he thought had no place in a responsible and free press.
“Ressa portrays herself as an alleged defender of press freedom and as a purported target of the Philippine Government, but this in no way exempts her from respecting and following Philippine laws. If anything, being a public figure, mas malaki ang kaniyang responsibilidad na magsabi ng totoo at sumunod sa batas,” the businessman remarked.
Keng said that he has been working as a private businessman for 37 years until now and was determined to defend his right after Ressa attempted to destroy his name through online means.
He shared that his counsel even begged Rappler to at least publish his standpoint or correct the false accusations they wrote against him. Even so, he said the news agency refused and denied him of clearing his name.
The businessman mentioned that he vowed to finish the case until the very end since it is his bid to protect his name and his sacrifice for his kids as well as future generations, who deserve freedom in the form of absolute truth.
“Motivated by the sheer conviction that I have done nothing to deserve the false accusations against me, I decided to go on my quest for justice even if it meant going up against Rappler, a powerful and well-funded media entity with a global reach, headed by one of Time Magazine’s “Top 100 Most Influential Women in the World” – Maria Ressa herself,” he explained.