A letter to Meaghan Tobin of South China Morning Post who said Maria Ressa was arrested - The Daily Sentry

Saturday, December 15, 2018

A letter to Meaghan Tobin of South China Morning Post who said Maria Ressa was arrested

Mark Lopez, a radio broadcaster and a staunch supporter of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte took to Facebook recently to call out a foreign new media for an article they made which he called “incorrect and misleading”.
Mark Lopez and Meaghan Tobin / Composite photos from Twitter and South China Morning Post

Chinese media reports on Ressa

South China Morning Post recently released and article on Rappler’s CEO, Maria Ressa, saying that the journalist was arrested in the Philippines over a case of tax evasion charged against her.

Ressa was charged with violating Section 255 of the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997, along with another warrant of arrest.

The journalist had just come back to the Philippines after receiving her award from the international Times magazine, recognizing and awarding her for being the prestigious “Person of the Year” in 2018.
Maria Ressa / Photo from ABS-CBN

After arriving back in the country, Ressa surrendered herself to the Philippine National Police and then posted bail.

Arrest never happened

Lopez argues against Meaghan Tobin, the writer of the article in the South China Morning Post. Saying that it was never true that Ressa was arrested.

He says that although there was a warrant that was released for Ressa, the actual act of being put in jail and detained because of the warrant did not happen.

He says that he cannot imagine where Tobin got her information because he is sure that if ever Ressa was indeed arrested, then there should have been a high media coverage of the incident.

He further accuses Tobin of bias. Saying that it could have been Ressa who told Tobin about being arrested when in fact it did not happen.
Maria Ressa / Photo from Rappler

He continues on to say that Tobin should immediately clarify her article or give proof that the arrest happened. If not, Lopez says that this only means that the foreign media entity is spreading fake news.

Read more about it here:

"Dear Meaghan Tobin of the South China Morning Post,

May we ask where did you get your information that Maria Ressa WAS ARRESTED? WHEN was the ARREST made? WHO made the ARREST?

Also, where was the media coverage of such arrest? Surely a public figure like Maria Ressa would merit a high profile feature and her supposed arrest would be banner and headline news.

Are you really sure there was an arrest? Are you a reporter based here in Manila? Or are you simply a timid desk editor there in Singapore, relying on what your colleague Maria Ressa told you? How did you come up with such a story?

Again, we here in the Philippines are so disturbed that a foreigner journalist like you would have the temerity to make up a story that did not happen but would have serious repercussion on the image and reputation of our country.

Let me tell you that we are most certain that Maria Ressa was NEVER ARRESTED because this is the kind of event that we Filipinos have been waiting with keen anticipation. A warrant of arrest was issued by the court but the actual arrest never happened and she voluntarily went to the court to post bail.

So again we ask you Ms Tobin, WHEN WAS MARIA RESSA ARRESTED?

Please show us the proof, otherwise you and the South China Morning Post are spreading FAKE NEWS."