SC again allows Maria Ressa to travel overseas

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 30) — The Supreme Court (SC) has allowed journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa to travel to four countries in June for several speaking engagements, provided that she refrains from discussing in public her cyber libel case.

The court’s First Division, in a resolution dated May 29 and uploaded on Tuesday, granted Ressa’s motion for permission to travel to Italy, Singapore, the United States, and Taiwan from June 4 to 29.

Among the conditions set by the SC are that the Rappler co-founder and chief executive officer observes the sub judice rule and refrain from publicly commenting on her cyber libel conviction, which also involves former Rappler researcher-writer Reynaldo Santos, "and other related matters."

In October last year, the Court of Appeals upheld its decision convicting Ressa and Santos of cyber libel, in relation to a May 2012 Rappler article which reported on a businessman’s alleged connection to illegal activities. Ressa and Santos elevated the case to the SC. 

The high court also said Ressa must travel on the cash bond of ₱100,000 which she previously posted pursuant to an earlier court resolution.

“Furthermore, petitioner is required to transmit to the Court an advice in writing of her return to the country within five days from her arrival,” the SC said.

In all, the court noted that it has granted seven motions filed by Ressa to travel abroad, totaling 14 countries.