Duterte denies hand in Maria Ressa’s arrest

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DAVAO CITY (February 15)— President Rodrigo Duterte denied hand in the recent arrest of Journalist Maria Ressa, saying he never had information about it.

Here is the transcript of the media interview:

Q: Sir, any comment on the arrest of Maria Ressa?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Hindi ko talaga alam ‘yan. Not for today. I have yet to go home. Sa labas po ako the whole day.

Q: Some are — regarding her arrest sir…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Bakit siya naaresto?

Q: Sir, for the cyber libel?

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Sinong nag-file?

Q: William Keng, sir. Negosyante po, William Keng. Nag-file and then the resolution of the DOJ was released February 4, filed in court tapos released — naglabas ng decision ‘yung court for the warrant February 12. And then yesterday nag-execute ng warrant of arrest.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Well, you know once a case is filed in court, unless it is one of the offenses that can only be — what you would call release through recognizance on your own, which are really very few. 

Once — the rule is once the case is filed in court, talagang ano ‘yan — ‘yung lalabas ang warrant of arrest.

Q: Sir, they’re saying it’s an attack on…

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Pero kung sabihin mo na, what can you say? I cannot say anything. I have not — I have yet to read. May nagsabi sa stage kanina but — same answer. I cannot give you an opinion or say anything.

Q: Sir, because they’re saying and some of international journalist organizations are saying this is an attack on the media, what can you say?

Q: Blaming the administration for it.

PRESIDENT DUTERTE: Susmaryosep. Far from it actually. I do not relish — babae pati bata, wala ako diyan.-end

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