MANILA, Philippines – Rappler has so far been asked to pay P2 million in bail and travel bonds over 7 court charges filed against the media company since 2018.
An 8th charge for violation of the Securities and Regulations Code was filed March 28, 2019, but the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 158 has yet to act on it.
In total, there have been 11 cases filed so far against Rappler, its CEO and Executive Editor Maria Ressa, other executives, and reporters.
Ressa posted her latest bail worth P90,000 on Friday, March 29, for one count of violation of the Anti-Dummy Law.
All in all, Rappler has been asked to pay a total of P2.036 million in bail and travel bonds as of March 29, 2019, covering Ressa, managing editor Glenda Gloria, 5 members of the 2016 board, and former researcher Reynaldo Santos Jr.
Here’s the breakdown:
Of all the charges, the most expensive bail has been for the Securities and Regulations code charges which required Rappler board members to pay P128,000 each.
Although no warrant has been issued for that yet, Gloria and 2016 board members Manuel Ayala, Nico Jose Nolledo, and Felicia Atienza decided to post their bail ahead of an issuance of warrants.
Bail money won’t be returned until after the case is done, and the defendant is acquitted. If convicted, the bail money can be used to pay for fines if any.
Ressa has also had to pay travel bonds worth P454,000 so far. Travel bonds are required of defendants out on bail when they go abroad.
Amounts of travel bonds are discretionary on the part of the court. The Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) imposed only P1,000 per count for Ressa’s recent travels, while the Manila Regional Trial Court (RTC) imposed P100,000 per travel period for the one count of cyber libel, which made the required bond sum up to P300,000.
The Manila RTC initially imposed a P500,000 travel bond but it was reduced to P300,000 upon the appeal of Ressa who said the original amount was excessive.
Asked on Friday, March 29, after paying her 7th bail if she expects more charges, Ressa said: “Our government has tremendous resources, so I can’t tell you how many that will be.” – Rappler.com