Philippine president spokesman Harry Roque said Rodrigo Duterte had congratulated journalist Maria Ressa on the Nobel Peace Prize. At the same time, he recalled that the editor “must clear her name in court”.
According to the spokesman, the Nobel Peace Prize for Maria Ressa is “a Filipina victory”. “We are very happy about it,” said Roque. In the Philippines, he added, media freedom “is alive.” “Of course it is true that there are people who believe Maria Ressa must clear her name in court anyway,” added a spokesman for the presidential palace.
In 2012, Ressa founded Rappler, a portal specializing in investigative journalism. This is one of the few Filipino media that openly criticizes Duterte’s rule, incl. brutal actions carried out under the banner of combating drugs. Duterte described Rappler as a “source of false information” and a tool in the hands of the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
There are many investigations and court proceedings against the journalist and her website, which – according to Ressa – are politically motivated harassment by the Filipino authorities.
In addition to Ressa, this year’s Nobel Peace Prize was awarded on Friday to Dmitry Muratov, editor-in-chief of Nova Gazeta, one of Russia’s last independent media.
Main photo source: RAPPLER / PAP / EPA