An open letter written by a British national named Malcolm Conlan calling out The New York Times for its erroneous article regarding the conviction of Maria Ressa of Rappler on the libel/cyberlibel charge circulates online.
In an OPEN LETTER TO The New York Times, Conlan addressed the editor of the said media company and remarked how embarrassing that its writers totally missed the point on the conviction of Maria Ressa. Conlan denied the insinuation that President Duterte has something to do with the case or press freedom because it was a private case for cyber libel that goes back from 2012.
“Shame on your writers for totally missing the point on the conviction of Maria Ressa. This has NOTHING to do with President Duterte or press freedom. This was a private case against her for Cyber Libel from 2012!!!”
“How in Gods name can this have ANYTHING to do with President Duterte or the present government when the original article was written in 2012???” Conlan asked in exasperation.
“Correct me if I’m mistaken, but President Duterte didn’t even take office until 2016!!!” Conlan added.
Conlan informed the editor of the New York Times that there is such a thing as separation of powers in the Philippines and the Office of the President (the executive) is a separate office from the Judiciary.
“The Office of the President and government is a totally separate office from the judiciary. The President has no influence over these cases whatsoever. Even IF he did and was able to step in, why would he do so when Rappler and Ms Ressa have been constantly making false claims of EJK’s and that there is no press freedom in the Philippines?”
Conlan also debunked the assertion of The New York Times that Maria Ressa’s conviction is an attack of press freedom. He said press freedom is very much alive and well in the Philippines, as long as they don’t engage in character assassination of person or invent allegations against them.
“In any case, this is not about Press freedom. The press can write what ever they wish as long as it’s factually accurate. Freedom of speech is alive and well in the Philippines, anyone can protest, organise petitions or whatsoever, as long as they don’t assassinate the character of another person or make up unproven allegations against them.”
Moving forward, Conlan said that despite the negative publicity from the NY Times, President Duterte remains popular among Filipinos and his over 80% satisfaction rating is proof of that.
“Furthermore, despite the rhetoric and narrative of the NY Times, the President is a very fair leader who was voted for by 16 million Filipinos. He has a satisfaction rating of over 80%, this is almost unheard of from any other world leader. There is no proof of any payments from the Government of the Philippines or President for anyone to kill anyone, therefore by the very definition of EJK’s being somehow state sponsored this narrative of EJK’s by western biased media is entirely false in my opinion.”
Conlan agreed that there have been some deaths in Duterte’s anti-drug war campaign but there are under probe many of which Conlan remarked were carried out by rival gangs and even police scalawags.
“Yes, I accept that there have been some deaths which are still under investigation, many of which I am sure were carried out by rival gangs, criminals, ex-partners or other addicts and yes it has even been proven that some were carried out by corrupt police, as in the case of the unfortunate death of Kian DeLos Santos. His killers were also thankfully brought to justice, this was also fully investigated at the request of the President himself no less.”
Conlan denied there is a Duterte government policy authorizing such kill*ngs. Conlan said it’s true the President uses strong language against dr*g gangs and criminals but that just his style in his effort to reduce rampant crimes caused by people under the influence of illegal substance.
“BUT the government didn’t tell anyone to kill anyone. Yes, I accept that the President sometimes uses strong language against drug gangs and criminals, but that’s his style, in his effort to reduce rampant crimes caused by people under the influence of illegal drugs.”
Conlan remarked that those in the business of illegal drugs can easily k*ll anyone and them put the blame on the government.
“Its very easy to kill someone, then hang a sign on their neck with the words ‘Drug adik’ then blame the government and President!”
“Since his election, all President Duterte has EVER wanted in the Philippines was peace and order and respect for the rule of law by all citizens and YES this also includes his critics,” Conlan added.
Conlan wrapped up the open letter by hailing the guilty verdict of Maria Ressa as the triumph of the Philippine justice system.
“Justice is thankfully alive and well in the Philippines and this was proven early today in a Philippine court, thousands of miles away from the USA and indeed the New York Times. 👊👊👊”
Disclaimer: Above is my personal opinion, which I believe I have every right to express, under MY freedoms and human rights
Source: Malcolm Conlan