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Friday , February 28 2020

Award-winning Philippine journalist, Duterte critic freed on bail

Maria Ressa, CEO and executive editor of online portal Rappler, shows the warrant of arrest order after posting bail at a court in Manila on Dec 3. (AFP)

An award-winning Philippine journalist who along with the online news service she heads has been sued for tax evasion has declared her innocence and was freed on bail Monday after turning herself in for arrest. Maria Ressa, CEO of the Rappler website, said that taxes had been paid properly by her news service and the five tax charges were politically motivated.

She was freed on 60,000 pesos ($1,150) bail on the one charge for which an arrest warrant has so far been issued. Rappler has been critical of the government of President Rodrigo Duterte, who in turn has accused several independent media groups in the Philippines of biased reporting, including on his crackdown on illegal drugs that has left thousands of mostly urban poor dwellers dead and drawn condemnation by Western governments and UN bodies. (AP)

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