MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – If convicted of the tax evasion charges filed against her, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa could face up to ten years behind bars.
That’s too much for Ressa to handle, so instead, she has agreed to a plea bargain.
A plea bargain is an agreement between a defendant and a prosecutor, in which the defendant agrees to plead guilty or “no contest” (nolo contendere) in exchange for the prosecutor to dropping one or more charges, reduce a charge to a less serious offense, or recommend to the judge a specific sentence.
Basically, Ressa’s plea bargain involves an affidavit to be submitted to the court in which she would admit to being both a fake journalist and a fake financial entrepreneur, and instead acknowledge — under oath — that she is just an ordinary blogger, like the rest of her Rappler team.
In exchange, the prosecution and the court are expected to drop the tax evasion charges against Ressa.
It would also mean that Rappler will voluntarily shut down. For good.
All’s well that ends well!