Rappler CEO and executive editor Maria Ressa responded to being called by President Rodrigo Duterte a ‘fraud’.
Ressa tweeted Wednesday saying that Duterte might be “seeing too much fraud from where he sits.”
Duterte called Ressa a ‘bugok’ in his taped speech aired at 1 am before saying the award-winning journalist was a ‘fraud’ and to believe his claims.
“4 years: spewing hate on social media, manipulating Filipinos, weaponizing the law,” Ressa added.
4 years: spewing hate on social media, manipulating Filipinos, weaponizing the law. We call a spade a spade. Was he referring to me? Maybe the President is just seeing too much fraud from where he sits. 🙂 #CourageON #DefendPressFreedom #HoldTheLine https://t.co/W6vGMMw81a
— Maria Ressa (@mariaressa) July 8, 2020
Duterte repeated several times that Ressa is a fraud, and that he doesn’t read Rappler articles that negatively affects his image.
“Ressa is a fraud. Believe me. Give us time. [It’s] too early for you to enjoy your awards. You are a fraud. We are just compiling [information] at this stage and someday in bold letters, we will show your incongruity,” Duterte said.
Ressa and researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr. are out on post-conviction bail after convicted of cyber libel.
Rappler has been very critical of the current administration. Ressa and Duterte have had their back and forths in the past. The journalist has claimed that the cases against her and Rappler were politically motivated.
Rappler honed in on the war on drugs, exposing some of the anomalies and gaffes that stemmed from the drug policy. The constant criticism of Ressa prompted Duterte to call Rappler a fake news outlet.
“You cannot harass and intimidate journalists to silence. We’ll stand up and fight against it. And as long as we are a democracy under a constitution, which has a bill of rights, we will demand our rights be respected.” Ressa told Democracy Now in an exclusive interview.
Ressa also claimed that Rappler actually helped Duterte win the presidency because of her interview with him in October 2015.