British national on Maria Ressa going to jail — I don’t think 31 million Filipinos or more would even be bothered or even loose any sleep over your fate

On Rappler’s Maria Ressa saying Filipinos will lose far more than she does if she goes to jail, British vlogger and Pinoy-at-heart Malcolm Conlan cannot resist the itch to respond to what he called Ressa’s worn out rhetoric she is a victim of persecution by a government that hates opposing views.

Conlan conceded that the offence of cyber libel should not lead to imprisonment because when it falls in the wrong hands, it could lead to unfair conviction. However, in Maria Ressa’s cyber libel conviction, Conlan is convinced that Maria Ressa was at fault because while they are busy fact checking others, it seems that their own fact checking mechanism failed to actually fact check their original article before publication. Ouch!

Conlan quipped that if Maria Ressa goes to prison, Filipinos would not even be bothered or loose sleep over her fate. Conlan said he disagreed wit Maria Ressa’s pet line the her conviction is an affront to democracy. In fact, Conlan said Maria Ressa’s conviction is solid proof that justice and democracy in the Philippines are fully functioning.

You may now read Malcolm Conlan’s original open letter below.

Ma’am Maria Ressa, I hate to intrude on your usual well worn rhetoric, but I have no doubt and can say 100% if you do eventually do jail time following your conviction for cyber libel, then that’s just the wheels of Philippine justice turning well, as they should.

Of course, it can be argued that the offence of Cyber libel should not lead to such a penalty as in the wrong hands it could lead to an unfair conviction. But in this case, when you make statements in public about anyone, you have to back that up. It’s called ‘Fact Checking’. You and your team seem to be so busy fact checking others, but it seems that your own fact checking mechanism failed to actually fact check your original article before publication.

To be honest, I don’t think 31 million Filipinos or more would even be bothered or even loose any sleep over your fate, you seem to use the line that this conviction is a front to democracy or somehow ‘weaponising the law’ well I hate to disagree ma’am, but this case is actually 100% proof that justice and democracy is fully functioning in the Philippines.

Of course you have the right of appeal etc and I do wish you luck with that, nobody wants to go to jail of course, but in this case, I don’t believe you can keep harking on to the international community saying that you have been somehow wronged. If anything, you should understand that this is the law as if stands and anyone who falls short of it or breaks it awaits the same fate.

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Source: Malcolm Conlan

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