Duterte congratulates Ressa on Nobel Prize

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's office on Monday congratulated journalist Maria Ressa for winning the Nobel Peace Prize.

A spokesman called it a "a victory for a Filipina" but stayed clear of her news site's investigative reporting of Duterte's government.

Ressa founded the news site Rappler, fighting multiple legal challenges in courts related to its coverage of the bloody war on drugs under Duterte and his government's use of social media to target opponents.

But Duterte spokesperson Henry Roque seemed to brush over the details of her reporting and instead said: "Of course it is true there are individuals who feel Maria Ressa still has to clear her name before the courts."

Duterte has described Rappler as a fake news outlet and a tool of the CIA which Ressa has dismissed as nonsense.

Her award was the first Nobel Peace Prize for the Philippines and the first for journalists since 1935.

Asked on Monday what her message would be to Duterte, Ressa urged him not to pursue a divide and conquer approach.

She shares the Peace Prize with Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov, who has also caught the ire of his government in Moscow to expose corruption and misrule.

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