PRESS PLAY: Libel and Cyberlibel, and Maria Ressa's Conviction: Explained


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The 1987 Constitution guarantees press freedom and free expression. But not even those fundamental freedoms are absolute. Libel, for example, is NOT protected speech...and in the digital age, libeling someone online - cyberlibel - actually carries a higher penalty.

And suddenly Filipinos are taking on all these terms - press freedom, free expression, libel, and cyberlibel - and all the attendant debates over private citizens, public figures, public interest, and slippery slopes, because Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and one of their former researchers have been convicted of cyberlibel.

How does this decision affect our appreciation of the law, the Constitution, and how, if at all, will they impact on our rights as Filipinos?