Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist Maria Ressa was acquitted today in Manila in her trial on the latest tax evasion charge for which she was prosecuted by Philippine authorities.

Ms Ressa, 59, who received the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize along with her Russian colleague Dmitri Muratov, smiled when she heard the verdict, an AFP reporter inside the room observed. Leaving court, she said she felt “good” about the decision.

The journalist faced a series of criminal charges during Rodrigo Duterte’s days in office (2016-2022). He strongly criticized his bloody policy, the “war” he had declared against drugs.

Ms Resa and the news website Rappler, which she founded, have been indicted on five counts of tax evasion by the Duterte administration after selling securities in 2015 as a means of raising capital from foreign investors.

In January, a jury found her not guilty of the other four charges.

Despite her two court victories this year, the future of Ms. Ressa and Rappler remains uncertain: they have two more trials ahead of them.

The journalist is free with restrictive conditions. She was convicted in 2020 of online defamation in one of several prosecutions brought against her by Philippine state institutions.

Mrs. Ressa characterizes the prosecutions against her and her website as political.

The current president, Ferdinand Marcos Jr., in power for 14 months, has ruled out any possibility of intervening in the justice system regarding the cases against the journalist and the medium.