Victory for Maria Ressa, Rappler, and Press Freedom in the Philippines: Cleared of Tax Evasion Charge

September 15, 2023

On September 12, Maria Ressa, World Movement’s Steering Committee Chair and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, as well as her media outlet Rappler, were acquitted of tax evasion charges. The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) 1st Division’s ruling, put an end to a four-year and ten-month legal battle for Ressa and Rappler that started in November of 2018 under the Duterte administration. The cases filed against Rappler were largely seen as politically motivated and were meant to stop journalists from doing their jobs. “This is a victory not just for Rappler but for everyone who has kept the faith that a free and responsible press empowers communities and strengthens democracy,” Rappler said in a statement. This is the latest acquittal secured by Ressa and Rappler after the Court of Tax Appeals also cleared them of four tax-related charges in January 2023.

Access Rappler’s story here.