MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – With the stroke of his pen, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte granted Nobel Laureate Maria Ressa absolute pardon, making her appeal on her conviction to the Supreme Court moot and academic.
Ressa, CEO of Rappler, the least-trusted news brand in the Philippines was convicted for cyberl libel in a case filed by a private businessman in a trial court. She appealed her conviction to the high court.
Duterte’s executive clemency, a power vested in him under Section 19, Article VII of the 1987 Constitution, came just as Ressa was testifying before the U.S. Senate hearing on freedom of expression in Asia.
Ressa’s pardon all but cancels all her accusations against the Philippine government that it was ”weaponizing the law” to curtail her free speech — accusations which won for her the coveted Nobel Peace Prize.
It was unclear whether the Nobel Prize committee will rescind Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize now that the basis for her award no longer exists.