Embattled journalist Maria Ressa talks with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World about how the COVID-19 pandemic has bolstered President Rodrigo Duterte's authoritarian approach to governing the Philippines, and how the lockdown there has sparked a social movement among citizens. Duterte's order to kill those breaking quarantine rules, she says, "fueled Filipinos who are stuck at home to go out online, and for the first time, the day after President Duterte said that, #oustDutertenow trended number one overnight and globally as well."
As Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, CEO of the online news agency Rappler, faces charges that could potentially lead to 100 years in prison, she talks with Ian Bremmer about the case that has made her a global advocate for press freedom. President Rodrigo Duterte of the Philippines targeted her and Rappler as he manages the nation under "the 3C's: corrupt, coerce, co-opt," she says.
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On the latest episode of GZERO World, Ian Bremmer talks to embattled Filipina journalist Maria Ressa, CEO of the online news agency Rappler. Ressa and her team have been involved in a years-long legal battle that challenges press freedoms and free speech in the Philippines, as President Rodrigo Duterte continues to assert authoritarian control in his nation. In the conversation Ressa details the ongoing court battles that have her facing up to 100 years in prison if convicted. She also discusses Duterte's militaristic approach to COVID-19 response, and then issues strong warnings about social media's role in promulgating hate speech globally.
For years, the Philippines has struggled with domestic terrorism. Last Friday, Rodrigo Duterte signed into law a sweeping new anti-terror bill that has the opposition on edge, as the tough-talking president gears up to make broader constitutional changes. Here's a look at what the law does, and what it means for the country less than two years away from the next presidential election.
The legislation grants authorities broad powers to prosecute domestic terrorism, including arrests without a warrant and up to 24 days detention without charges. It also carries harsh penalties for those convicted of terror-related offenses, with a maximum sentence of life in prison without parole. Simply threatening to commit an act of terror on social media can now be punished with 12 years behind bars.
Ever since the rough-spoken populist Rodrigo Duterte was elected president of the Philippines in 2016, journalists have warned that his open disdain for the media would put press freedom in the country at risk.
On Monday, those fears were underscored when the authorities found Maria Ressa, an internationally-renowned journalist and fierce critic of Duterte's, guilty of libel under the country's cybercrimes law.