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Complainant Wilfredo Keng: Case vs. Ressa no violation of press freedom

The camp of Wilfredo Keng—the businessman who filed the cyber libel complaint against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa—on Friday denied claims the government is using him against the veteran journalist.

In a statement, Keng also pointed out that his complaint against Rappler's Ressa does not involve state suppression of free expression, as he did it as his personal fight against "unethical acts of irresponsible few."

"Its [libel case] filing and its progression do not impinge in any way on freedom of speech and of the press—freedoms that I fully support and believe in," Keng said.

Likewise, Keng said his complaint has a sole objective of ferreting out the truth. "Did Rappler, Ressa and Reynaldo Santos, Jr. lie about me?"

National Bureau of Investigation agents arrested Ressa at Rappler headquarters late Wednesday afternoon over an article published by the news website in 2012.

Ressa, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, accuses the Duterte administration of trying to intimidate the media with her arrest.

But Keng said Ressa and Rappler mistakenly places him on the side of the enemies of press freedom.

By doing so, Keng said, "Ressa demeans my efforts in seeking just and equitable judicial relief [labeling it] as preposterous and baseless."

Keng vowed to continue with his fight until he gets justice.

On the other hand, President Rodrigo Duterte denied claims that Ressa's arrest was an attack on members of the media by the state.

Out on bail, Ressa has vowed to "hold the government accountable" for violating her rights.  —Anna Felicia Bajo/LBG, GMA News