Prof. Te: Deep freeze for the constitutional guarantee against ex post facto laws

In the column “Deep Dive” of 15 Feb. 2019, Professor Theodore Te dissects the arrests of Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and of former Rappler researcher Reynaldo Santos, Jr., on grounds of the constitutional prohibition against ex post facto laws. The theory of the DOJ on cyber libel being a “continuing crime” and its prescriptive period being subject to “multiple republication,” is what the court will have to resolve, writes Professor Te. His position is that “multiple republication” or “continuing crime” are not principles that apply to libel, as it is defined in Articles 355 to 362 of the Revised Penal Code. He also points out that the Constitution, statute, and jurisprudence make “it clear to every lawyer that a penal statute cannot be made to retroact when it prejudices the accused.”

Te’s complete legal argument may be accessed at: https://www.rappler.com/thought-leaders/223538-analysis-deep-dive-maria-ressa-cyber-libel-case-big-chill-press-freedom?fbclid=IwAR3MV8_NINsvfz0mlkdHPlq0PgO5JyxzX0vE7Iy2C6AP40D0I8b7XCUbmvU