A nine-page ruling by the Court of Appeals’ Special 7th Division finally allows Rappler CEO and journalist Maria Ressa to travel to Oslo, Norway to personally collect the Nobel Prize award.
However, the consent comes with strings attached. First, Ressa must inform the CA of her return to the country from her Boston trip. Second, her previous travel bond of P500,000 will still apply to her Norway trip. Finally, she must notify the court of her return within 24 hours from her arrival.
Earlier, the United Nations has urged the Philippines to allow Ressa to travel to Norway so she can accept the award.
She is the first Philippine Nobel laureate, sharing the Peace Prize with Russian investigative journalist Dmitry Muratov.
The move is seen as an endorsement of the right to free speech.
Unfortunately, the fundamental right is currently under fire globally.
Ressa asked the government for approval to travel to Norway so she could accept the Nobel Peace Prize in person on the 10th of this month.
The United Nations is “very concerned” about Ressa’s government-imposed travel restrictions, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres’s spokesman Stephane Dujarric said.
“We urge the government of the Philippines to immediately withdraw any such restrictions,” Dujarric told the media in New York City, “and allow her to travel to Oslo.”
Ressa’s news site, Rappler, has seen its license suspended. She has a wide variety of legal issues given multiple charges filed against her.
The close scrutiny of President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs is widely regarded as the cause for the continuous attacks on Ressa and Rappler.
Photo: Philippine Star