By Ria Fernandez
A local court in Manila allowed on Thursday Rappler Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Maria Ressa, who is facing a cyber liber case, to travel in March and April on a P300, 000-bond.
Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 46 Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa initially granted Ressa’s motion to travel overseas and set a bond for P500, 000.
However, the veteran journalist’s lawyer Theodore Te appealed to reduce the bond by filing an urgent motion on the same day.
He argued that the initial bond was “excessive and disproportionate” since it was five times the amount of Ressa’s bail.
He also pointed out that his client was “not a flight risk”.
The court eventually brought down the bond to P100, 000 per travel, or P300, 000 in all.
Ressa will be flying to Singapore this March, and to Italy and the United States next month.
Meanwhile, the court also moved Ressa’s arraignment from April 12 to April 16.
Ressa and former Rappler reporter Reynaldo Santos, Jr. have been charged with cyber libel that stemmed from a complaint of businessman Wilfredo Keng in October 2017 regarding an online article entitled “CJ using SUVs of Controversial Businessman” published on May 29, 2012, which was prior to the enactment of Republic Act No. 10175 or the Cybercrime Prevention Act of 2012.
Ressa was able to post bail for P100, 000 after staying overnight at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) headquarters last February 13.