Ressa may face death penalty for Trump-Duterte top secret leakage

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Founder and CEO of Rappler Maria Ressa may be charged under the United States Espionage Act for publicizing unauthorized Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) document on the confidential telephone call between US President Donald Trump and President Rodrigo Duterte about two nuclear submarines stationed in Korea.

Netizen Andrea Carigma posted an article by Jose Alejandrino about Ressa’s illegal publication of a confidential document that could hold her accountable just like Wikileaks Founder Julian Assange.

Under the Espionage Act, a penalty of death or imprisonment of not more than 30 years or both is imposed on those who interfere or acts of espionage that interfere with the national security of the US.

Alejandrino cited the 1919 US Supreme Court case of Schneck vs. United States which ruled the Espionage Act as non-violating the freedom of speech because it does not extend access to information on “diplomatic secrets and matters affecting national security.”

The article also emphasized that the DFA official/s responsible for leaking the document should also be held liable for her/his/their actions.

Alejandrino cited Memorandum Circular No.78 dated August 14, 1964 governing the security of classified material in Philippine government offices and the Republic Act 10173 or Data Privacy Act of 2012 as laws that protect information which holds national security at stake.

In his Cargima’s repost, Alejandrino said,


By Jose Alejandrino

Maria Ressa, CEO of Rappler, may be in trouble for leaking that unauthorized confidential DFA document on the telephone conversation between US president Donald Trump and Philippine president Rodrigo Duterte. In that conversation, Trump told Duterte confidentially there were two nuclear subs he sent to Korea and got pilloried for it by the US media.

She could be charged under the US Espionage Act, like Julian Assange, founder of Wikileaks. That Act was designed to punish acts of interference in foreign relations as well as acts of espionage that interfere with operations or success of the US armed forces or promote success of its enemies.

According to a former US Homeland Security officer now with the Heritage Foundation, it is immaterial that Ressa is a journalist or a non-US citizen or whether the individual distributing the confidential information is the initial thief or intermediary. If indicted by the US Attorney-General her chances of being convicted are high. The US does not take this kind of offense lightly.

A conviction is punishable by death or by imprisonment for not more than 30 years or both.

In 1919 the US Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Schenck vs United States that the Espionage Act did not violate freedom of speech. The right of access to information of public concern is not absolute. It does not extend to diplomatic secrets and matters affecting national security.

What about the liability of the DFA official who leaked the document? Under Memorandum Circular No.78 dated August 14, 1964 governing the security of classified material in Philippine government offices, Sec. IV, Art.17 defines a confidential matter as information prejudicial to the interest or prestige of the nation or of great advantage to a foreign nation. Sec. XII, Art.57 states that any violation of regulations in that Circular makes the public officer liable administratively without prejudice to any criminal prosecution if the violation constitutes an offense under the Revised Penal Code or any other penal law. Same with the unauthorized publication of classified material by the parties concerned.

In the Philippines, RA10173 known as the Data Privacy Act of 2012 protects all forms of information that are personal, private, or privileged. Under its Sec.32, any unauthorized disclosure without the consent of the data subject shall be subject to imprisonment ranging from one to three years and a fine of not less than 500,000 pesos but not more than one million. Under its Sec.36, any offense committed by a public officer carries an accessory penalty consisting in his disqualification to hold public office for a term double the term of the criminal penalty imposed."

Source: Andrea Carigma Facebook I Jose Alejandrino

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Ressa may face death penalty for Trump-Duterte top secret leakage Ressa may face death penalty for Trump-Duterte top secret leakage Reviewed by Newsinfo Learn on May 30, 2017 Rating: 5


  1. There's no death penalty in the PHL. Wake up.

    1. US ang magkakaso sa kanya kung di ka ba naman dilawang ugok amf

    2. How about a thirty-year sentence? That sounds death to me.

    3. Have you heard about U.S.- R.P. extradition treaty? Que maleducada!


    5. Binasa nga d nman pa wake up wake up p.yellowshit nga nman talaga oo.

  2. The quicker that DU30 does impose the Death Penalty in the Phil for treason or drug king pins the safer and better it will be for the people of the Phil.

    1. You are still likely to get hit by a vehicle driven by someone without licence, without insurance.
      You are still likely to abused in a police station when you go there to report a crime.
      You are still likely to get shot by someone without a gun licence in a public altercation.

  3. Ressa shit is a traitor..let's bring her to Mindanao and feed her to the Maute..she deserve to be with the Maute, she has the same face, same attitude as the Maute!

  4. please... stop commenting if you don't know stuff okay? please research about extradition and she can be extradited for crimes in US STUPID!!!!!

  5. Ressa is full of shit..she deserve to be jailed...!!!!!!

  6. Alejandrino says she COULD BE liable....But he himself is not sure she IS liable. This is a non issue. Let us see if the US will move. Otherwise this is chismis by Alejandrino. Alejandrino Chismoso!


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