Philippine Tax Court Denies Duterte Critic's Plea to Drop Case

(Bloomberg) -- A Philippine court has denied a motion from online media company Rappler Inc., which has been critical of President Rodrigo Duterte, to dismiss a tax evasion case.

Philippine Tax Court Denies Duterte Critic's Plea to Drop Case

The Court of Tax Appeals declared valid the tax evasion charges filed by the Department of Justice against Rappler and its Chief Executive Officer Maria Ressa, according to a Feb. 7 ruling released to the media on Feb. 15. Rappler and Ressa are also facing other charges.

Ressa, one of Time Magazine’s Persons of the Year in 2018, was arrested earlier this week for cyber libel allegations and subsequently released after posting bail. Rappler, the company she founded, is appealing last year’s order by the Securities and Exchange Commission to shut operations for allegedly violating foreign-equity restrictions in mass media.

Rappler in November described the justice department’s indictment as a “continuing intimidation and harassment” to silence journalists.

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