Ressa has long been a vocal critic of Duterte and the deadly drug war he launched in 2016, triggering what media advocates say is a grinding series of criminal charges, investigations and online attacks against her and Rappler.
She and the Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov were awarded the Nobel peace prize in October for their efforts to “safeguard freedom of expression”.
Ressa, who is also a US citizen, is fighting at least seven court cases, including the cyber libel case, for which she has been on bail and faces up to six years in prison.
Rappler, which is the subject of eight legal actions, had to fight for survival as Duterte’s government accused it of violating a constitutional ban on foreign ownership in securing funding, as well as tax evasion.
Days before Duterte left office, the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission ordered Rappler to shut down for violating “constitutional and statutory restrictions on foreign ownership in mass media”.
Ressa vowed the company would continue to operate as it followed the legal process, but expressed hope the situation would improve under Duterte’s successor, Ferdinand Marcos Jr.
But the company’s future and its battle in the country’s highly politicised legal system under Marcos Jr’s presidency is uncertain.
Marcos Jr, who took over from Duterte on 30 June, has given few clues about his views on the website and the broader issue of freedom of speech. Activists fear he could worsen the situation for human rights and freedom of speech in the country.