Journalist and Duterte critic posts bail after libel arrest

Posted at 12:32 AM, Feb 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-14 00:32:37-05

MANILA, Philippines (AP) — The award-winning head of a Philippine online news site that has aggressively covered President Rodrigo Duterte's administration has been freed on bail after her arrest in a libel case.

National Bureau of Investigation agents served the warrant against Maria Ressa late Wednesday afternoon and escorted her from the Rappler Inc. office to NBI headquarters, where she stayed overnight. Duterte's government denied it and said the arrest was a normal step in response to a criminal complaint.

"What we're seeing is death by a thousand cuts of our democracy," Ressa told reporters after posting bail in a Manila court.

Rappler's 2012 article included allegations that a businessman was linked to drugs, human trafficking and a murder case, citing an unspecified intelligence report. He has denied the allegations and welcomed the indictment.