ABS-CBN News has confirmed earlier reports that top journalist Maria Ressa has resigned. Maria Ressa will leave as ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs Division (NCAD) chief effective January 2011.

Regina 'Ging' Reyes, ABS-CBN North America News Bureau chief, will replace Ressa at the helm of NCAD.

Reyes and Ressa will begin their transition on October 18,2010, when Reyes arrives in Manila.

Ressa, whose contract will expire on January 3, 2011 refused to renew her contract. She will leave the network on November 15, 2010 and will use her leave credits for the remainder of her contract. Before joining ABS-CBN, Ressa is CNN's Jakarta Bureau chief.

Here is the internal e-mail of Maria Ressa to the ABS-CBN News and Current Affairs team and officially released by ABS-CBN Corporate communications:

Dear Team,

There is a time and place for everything in our lives. My time and place as head of ABS-CBN News & Current Affairs is nearing its end.

My contract ends on Jan. 3, 2011, and I will not be renewing. I have nearly six months of accumulated leaves so I will go on terminal leave beginning Nov. 15.

It’s time for me to move on, but it’s important we transition properly and prepare our organization – and its new leader – for the challenges ahead.

Ging Reyes will be taking over as news head. She will be arriving in Manila on Oct. 18 to begin our transition. Home-grown ABS-CBN, she has more than twenty years experience as a journalist, the last eight years as North America bureau chief. Please give her your full support as she takes the helm of our multi-platform operations.

I want to thank you for six amazing, incredible years where we took risks together to help define the future of journalism and our nation. We decided to take a stand and say no to corruption; to embrace the growth of social media; and to join hands with citizen journalists to patrol our votes and our nation . Thank you for your trust and support, for following me even when I tilt at windmills.

Journalism faces challenging days ahead. Value and protect your editorial independence. I wish you clarity of thought, stamina, and courage to fight for what is right and avoid the compromise of mediocrity.

You have taught me so much about what it means to be a Filipino. While my time with this company is ending, one of the most precious things it has given me are our friendships, which I hope will continue to grow even when

I’m no longer with ABS-CBN.

My very best,