Philippine Nobel laureate Maria Ressa acquitted of tax evasion

Philippine Nobel laureate Maria Ressa acquitted of tax evasion

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Ressa and Rappler faced five government charges of tax evasion stemming from the 2015 issue of Philippine depositary receipts, which are a way for companies to raise money from foreign investors.

In January a court acquitted him of four charges. The fifth was heard by a separate court, which on Tuesday cleared him and the rapper of wrongdoing.
“Today, we celebrate the victory of facts over politics,” the rapper said in a statement.

“We thank the court for this just decision and for recognizing that the fraudulent, false and tenuous allegations made by the Bureau of Internal Revenue have no basis in fact.”

Despite the acquittal, Resa and the rapper face an uncertain future as they battle two other court cases.

Ressa and a former associate, Ray Santos Jr., are appealing a cyber defamation conviction that carries a prison sentence of nearly seven years.

The rapper, meanwhile, is challenging the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission’s closure order for allegedly violating a ban on foreign ownership in media.

Under the Constitution, only Philippine citizens or entities controlled by citizens may invest in the media.

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