Nobel laureate Maria Ressa acquitted for tax evasion

Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa and her online news outlet have been found not guilty of tax evasion.
The Philippine journalist called the four charges "a brazen abuse of power and meant to stop journalists from doing their jobs."

Ressa said, "Today, facts win. Truth wins. Justice wins."

The Court of Tax Appeals on Wednesday said the prosecutors failed to prove the charges. The acquittals are the first for Ressa and her website Rappler, among a series of lawsuits under the former presidency of Rodrigo Duterte. They are also fighting three other cases, including a conviction of cyber libel.

Ressa is known for her critical reporting of the Duterte administration and its hardline political stance.
She became the first person from the Philippines to win a Nobel Prize in 2021 in recognition of her efforts to safeguard the freedom of the press.

Philippines' media suffered under Duterte. The former president admitted he blocked the renewal of a broadcast license of a major TV station in 2020.

Local media are reporting that Ressa's acquittal could make life easier for journalists under the current administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Junior.