MANILA—Rappler chief Maria Ressa is the lone Filipino named in Time Magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people of 2019.
In a tribute to Ressa, which also appeared in the publication, former US secretary of state Madeleine Albright lauded her for her commitment to “exposing corruption, documenting abuse and combating misinformation.”
“Maria’s Manila-based news site, Rappler, has already been indicted by President Duterte’s government on questionable tax-evasion charges, and Maria was arrested and briefly imprisoned earlier this year for allegedly violating a dubious ‘cyber-libel’ law. But Maria remains undaunted,” Albright wrote.
Also included on Time’s list are: Korean boy group BTS, Donald Trump, Lady Gaga, LeBron James, Mark Zuckerberg, Michelle Obama, Pope Francis, Taylor Swift, Xi Jinping, among others.
Ressa’s inclusion on the list came after she was chosen as one of of Time Magazine’s 2018 Person of the Year, along with slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Ressa and her company, Rappler Holdings Inc., face tax evasion cases filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ).
They are also facing alleged violations of foreign ownership rules.
Rappler said the case stems from a complaint filed last year by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Pasig City Regional Trial Court Branch 158 Judge Rowena Modesto San Pedro found probable cause to charge Ressa and 6 other colleagues for alleged violation of the anti-dummy law.
The Philippines, under the anti-dummy law, prohibits foreigners from intervening in the management, operation, administration, or control of any nationalized activity.
Rappler said its executives have paid more than P2 million in bail and travel bonds since 2018.
Ressa was first arrested in February over a cyber libel case. She was rearrested a month later over a charge of violating the anti-dummy law. (ABS-CBN News)