Press Freedom Declining Amid Drug War In Philippines

Maria Ressa, center, the award-winning head of a Philippine online news site Rappler, is escorted into the court room to post bail at a Regional Trial Court following an overnight arrest by National Bureau of Investigation agents on a libel case Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 in Manila, Philippines. Ressa was freed on bail Thursday after her arrest in a libel case.
Maria Ressa, center, the award-winning head of a Philippine online news site Rappler, is escorted into the court room to post bail at a Regional Trial Court following an overnight arrest by National Bureau of Investigation agents on a libel case Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 in Manila, Philippines. Ressa was freed on bail Thursday after her arrest in a libel case. Bullit Marquez / AP Photo
Maria Ressa, center, the award-winning head of a Philippine online news site Rappler, is escorted into the court room to post bail at a Regional Trial Court following an overnight arrest by National Bureau of Investigation agents on a libel case Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 in Manila, Philippines. Ressa was freed on bail Thursday after her arrest in a libel case.
Maria Ressa, center, the award-winning head of a Philippine online news site Rappler, is escorted into the court room to post bail at a Regional Trial Court following an overnight arrest by National Bureau of Investigation agents on a libel case Thursday, Feb. 14, 2019 in Manila, Philippines. Ressa was freed on bail Thursday after her arrest in a libel case. Bullit Marquez / AP Photo

Press Freedom Declining Amid Drug War In Philippines

Journalist Maria Ressa, a Time Person of the Year in 2018, was arrested in the Philippines at the headquarters of Rappler, the news outlet she co-founded, last Wednesday. Charges against Ressa by the Philippine’s Department of Justice relate to a 2012 Rappler story alleging that businessman Wilfredo Keng had links to illegal drugs and human trafficking. Ressa was charged under new cyber libel laws, even though those laws came into effect two years after the article was published. Her arrest comes as part of a pattern of press freedom violations in the Philippines, particularly under President Rodrigo Duterte, who took office in 2016. Since 1992, 140 journalists have been killed in the country, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists, though motives have not been confirmed in all cases. Joining us to discuss Ressa’s case and the state of press freedom in the Philippines is Steven Butler, the Committee to Protect Journalists’ Asia Program Coordinator.