JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra yesterday challenged Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa to sue him and the government over her indictment and arrest last week for cyber-libel.
“We are performing our duties to prosecute anyone who breaks the law. We are confident that her allegations will not prosper because we have not violated any law. So just go ahead and bring it on,” Guevarra said.
He issued this statement in response to Ressa’s claim that she will press charges over her arrest by the National Bureau of Investigation.
Guevarra denied Ressa’s claim that the Department of Justice (DoJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) have engaged in “selective justice” and “weaponization of the law.”
“Harassment and persecution are not in my vocabulary,” Guevarra stressed.
He pointed out that the filing of a case against Ressa and her arrest were not done to harass or target critics of President Duterte or to threaten the constitutional freedom of the press.
Guevarra added that Ressa is “old enough to know what’s good for her” and should just face the case before the court without the “theatrics.”
Ressa was arrested last February13 by NBI agents on orders of Manila regional trial court branch 46 over the cyber libel case filed by the DoJ upon complaint of businessman Wilfredo Keng.