A day after Rappler CEO Maria Ressa flew home to the Philippines under the threat of an arrest warrant, she surrendered at a Manila court and was allowed to remain free after paying a cash bail.
Duterte, the architect of the government's war to eradicate illegal drugs continued on, "Susmaryosep, walang tulog (no sleep at all)".
She was not arrested at the airport but confirmed to reporters in the arrival hall that a warrant of arrest had been issued.
The formal accusations bring with them a potential 10-year prison term under Philippines tax law.
Sought for comment, Isabela first district Rep. Rodito T. Albano III, principal author of the House Bill 6517 or the Act Providing Filipinos Right of Access to Medical Marijuana, said: "He is fooling you...." "I'm not a criminal, but I've been fingerprinted like a criminal. I have been a journalist my entire life".
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Duterte has also banned Rappler reporters from covering official presidential functions, arguing that they were not real journalists.
From calling a reporter in the USA a "son of a whore" in 2016, to kissing a married woman on stage during a political speech, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte seems to beat US President Donald Trump in being politically incorrect. "Joke-joking mo, kung maniwala kayo, gago kayo (If you believe, you are fools)", Duterte had said.
The claims relate to a 2015 bond sale which resulted in about US$3 million in gains for Rappler. "Rappler pays the right taxes". "If you're poor, you get killed or jailed", Naguit said. One indispensable source of information, both for the global media and readers in the Philippines has been the upstart news site Rappler, which is now facing a reckoning with the government it has been a dogged check upon.
Mr Duterte, known for his fierce attacks on his critics, has tried to muzzle other media outlets, including broadcasting giant ABS-CBN.
"Arresting Maria will send a clear signal that the country's democracy is fast receding under a feckless administration that can not abide criticism and free expression and will go to ridiculous lengths to muzzle all those is does not agree with", the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines said when news of the arrest warrant for Ressa was announced last week. "We stand in solidarity with Maria and are behind her 100 per cent as she fights these latest charges".