Dismayado at galit ang ilang senador sa guilty verdict na hinatol ng korte sa kasong cyberlibel laban kay Rappler CEO Maria Ressa at sa dating writer-researcher na si Reynaldo Santor Jr.
“Under the current political atmosphere of repression and authoritarianism, it would have been a surprise if Maria and Reynaldo were acquitted. The silencing of critics and the attacks on the media has been going on for three years now,” ayon kay Senador Francis Pangilinan.
“And unless we stand up, speak out, and vigorously oppose the tyranny in our midst, their conviction will not be the last,” dagdag pa nito.
Para naman kay Senador Risa Hontiveros, ang hatol kina Ressa at Santos ay pagpapakita na nalalagay sa panganib ang malayang pamamahayag sa Pilipinas.
“‘First, they came for the journalists. We don’t know what happened after that.’ The attacks on the free press and journalists are a danger to our democracy and to us Filipinos,” ani Hontiveros.
“Today’s conviction sends a chilling message to all: kung kritiko ka, pwede kang ipasara at pwede kang patahimikin. I urge everyone to speak out. Dumarami tayo. We are complicit if we are silent. Takot sila, kaya nila tayo pinapatahimik,” sambit pa nito.
Ayon naman kay detained Senator Leila De Lima, ang nasabing desisyon ay patunay na kinakasangkapan ng Duterte administration ang batas para patahimikin ang tumutuligsa sa kanila.
“The decision to convict Ressa and Santos (while certainly appealable) is but another demonstration of the Duterte government’s weaponization of law against those who dare speak truth to power,” giit ni De Lima.
“Jailing me for over three years now is only one of the thousand sinister ways they are causing fear in the hearts of Filipinos who fight for what is just and right. They will not stop at going after critics and human rights defenders. To them, journalists too must be silenced. But we will not allow it,” ayon pa sa senadora.
Sa pag-convict kina Ressa at Santos, sinabi naman ni dating Senador Antonio Trillanes na ilang hakbang na lang at patungo na ang bansa sa batas militar.
“More than the obvious attack against the freedom of the press, Maria Ressa’s conviction for cyberlibel is an attack against our democracy itself. We are now but a few steps away from Martial Law,” ani Trillanes.
“Panahon na para magsalita at magsama-sama bago pa mawala nang tuluyan ang ating kalayaan,” wika pa niya.