Philippine Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa has been acquitted in a trial of alleged tax evasion. A Manila appeals court ruled today that the government failed to provide sufficient evidence of alleged tax fraud. The case involved a 2015 settlement with foreign investors related to Ressa’s anti-government news website, Rappler.
“Today the facts prevailed,” said the 59-year-old journalist, who also has US citizenship, after the acquittal. “Truth prevails.” Like all the allegations against her, the allegations in the tax lawsuit are politically motivated.
Ressa is still awaiting trial for other alleged crimes. Among other things, she is appealing against a verdict for allegedly defamatory statements on the Internet, which could mean up to seven years in prison.
Ressa received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2021 for his journalistic work along with his Russian colleague Dmitri Muratow. Among other things, it honored his unwavering commitment to freedom of expression.