Edited By: Shankhyaneel Sarkar
Last Updated: January 18, 2023, 12:19 IST
A courtroom in the Philippines acquitted journalist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa in addition to Rappler Holdings Corporation, a media firm that she owns, of tax evasion prices, information retailers reported.
“Today, facts win. Truth wins. These charges were politically motivated. We were able to prove that Rappler is not a tax evader,” Ressa was quoted as saying by information companies.
Ressa, shared the Nobel with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov in 2021.
The tax evasion prices towards the distinguished journalist and her information media firm have been filed in 2018 when the Philippines was underneath the Rodrigo Duterte regime.
Ressa and several other different observers claimed that the costs have been filed as a result of she and her media firm have been vocal towards the struggle on medication marketing campaign launched by the Duterte regime. It additionally has been vital of the regime and has uncovered misgovernance in the southeast Asian nation by its investigative reviews.
The Court of Tax Appeals, First Division, confirmed that prosecutors did not show “beyond reasonable doubt” that Ressa and Rappler Holdings Corp. had evaded paying income taxes owed.
The Philippine revenue agency in 2018 alleged that the Rappler media company omitted from its tax returns the proceeds of a 2015 sale of depository receipts to foreign investors. The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission used this as an excuse to revoke Rappler’s license.
A report by Rappler cited Ressa’s lawyer Francis Lim, the former president of the Philippine Stock Exchange, who said that if Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDR) were declared to be taxable income and made tools to convict Ressa and her media company, it would affect every business seeking to raise capital.
Justice Catherine Triunfante Manahan, Justice Jean Bacorro-Villena, and Justice Marian Ivy Reyes-Fajardo were the judges who presided over the court proceedings.
Even though Ressa and Rappler have won the Philippines’ Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) case, there are three active court cases against Rappler and Ressa.
“An adverse decision would have had far-reaching repercussions on both the press and the capital markets … With you we will continue to #HoldTheLine,” Rappler mentioned in an announcement.
However, Rappler is fighting the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission order to close it for allegedly violating a constitutional ban on foreign ownership in media still poses a challenge to its smooth running.
Rappler is accused of allowing foreigners to take control of its website through its parent company Rappler Holdings’ issuance of “depositary receipts”. The case springs from a 2015 funding by the US-based Omidyar Network, established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar, information company AFP reported.
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