02814: The Philippine Government vs Rappler

This afternoon at the close of regular business hours. NBI agents arrested Rappler CEO Maria Ressa in line with a questionable cyber-libel case involving a story that actually pre-dates the Philippine Anti-Cybercrime Law. The argument is that the case remains valid somehow since the online article was updated in February 2014. From a technical standpoint it's not entirely clear why they had a warrant for her alongside one for the reporter who wrote the story under the claim that she was editor for the piece, which she was not.

On the whole, people forget that a news organization like Rappler is more than its head. As long as any of the Rappler journalists remain free, then they will continue their struggle to report the news as truthfully as they can including pieces critical of the government. Arresting the company's CEO will more like inspire more journalists to pull ranks and stand together through this controversy and it's clear that grave discretion is being utilized in interpreting the law against her favor.

Then again, libel laws in this country have been historically been used to attempt to silence many critics over the years as most such cases have been sped through the courts with the help of well-paid lawyers and such. Such are the some of the challenges of being a journalist in this country where the rich and powerful often have an advantage when it comes to using the legal system in this manner.

This story has only begun to unfold and we'll what next steps are taken in an effort to get this case resolved, one way or another.