Award-winning journalist and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa refused to get his side of the story despite asking them to do so, Filipino-Chinese businessman Wilfredo Keng said in his press statement on Monday, June 15.
“It is of public record: My counsel had pleaded and begged with Rappler and Ressa to correct their false public accusations that I am a criminal, or at the very least, to publish my side. They refused. They have denied me my right to clear my name,” he said
Keng first filed a case against Ressa when he was mentioned in a Rappler article published in May 2012. Keng was identified as the owner of the black Chevrolet Suburban van allegedly used by late former chief justice Renato Corona, who was under impeachment proceedings in the same year. He was also associated with drug smuggling and human trafficking.
With the conviction of Maria Ressa finally set, Keng says he feels vindicated despite being the damage it brought to him.
“Today, with the judgment of conviction against Ressa and Santos promulgated by the Hon. Judge Rainelda Estacio-Montesa, I have been vindicated, at least, to the extent possible considering that the damage had already been done. Even today, when the truth should have set me free, Rappler’s lies still resound after the bang of the gavel has faded away,” he expressed.
Keng also stressed that the government was not, in any way, involved or a part of his case with Ressa.
“This case is NOT a case of the government. I am a private citizen and this is a private suit. I filed my complaint prior to and independently of any case the Philippine Government may have filed against Ressa,” he said.
The businessman firmly emphasized that while Ressa refused to take the witness stand, he testified in open court and went through all stages of the legal process with no shortcuts. He also said his case would have been long concluded if the government was really connected to him.