'No finality yet': Rappler to appeal SEC shutdown order | Inquirer News
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‘No finality yet’: Rappler to appeal SEC shutdown order

/ 01:39 PM June 29, 2022
At least six senators have so far pushed for a Senate Medal of Excellence to be awarded to veteran Filipino journalist Maria Ressa after her Nobel Peace Prize win.

Journalist Maria Ressa. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO/LYN RILLON

MANILA, Philippines — Rappler is prepared to exhaust legal remedies after the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) affirmed its revocation order against the media organization, its chief legal counsel Francis Lim said on Wednesday.

The SEC on Tuesday affirmed the 2018 decision to cancel Rappler’s Certificates of Incorporation, citing alleged violations of the constitutional and statutory restrictions on foreign ownership over mass media entities.

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READ: SEC has ordered Rappler shutdown, says CEO Ressa 

Lim, however, said Rappler “strongly disagrees” with the decision as it plans to file a petition for review to the Court of Appeals (CA).

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“We have 15 days from yesterday to file a petition for review or what a layman knows as appeal to the CA. From the CA, we will have a chance to file a motion for reconsideration in case the CA disagrees with us and eventually, we will have the final opportunity to appeal all the way up to the Supreme Court so it’s not the end of the world for us. There’s still a very long process to go,” he explained during a press conference.

The lawyer further stressed, “There are powerful, factual and legal grounds to reverse the decision of the SEC which we are now discussing. At the end of the day, we are positive that we can have the revocation of Rappler reversed by the highest court of the land.”

‘No finality’

The SEC earlier said Rappler violated the restrictions on mass media ownership because the organization received funds coming from Omidyar Network, an investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

The commission then voided the Omidyar Philippine Depositary Receipt, which was meant to prove that it does not render voting rights in the board or control over the company’s daily operations.

In its latest order, the SEC said the 2018 revocation decision versus Rappler has “already attained finality.”

But Lim maintained that from a legal perspective, it “cannot attain finality until the CA rules on the effect of the donation based on the report of the SEC.”

‘Business as usual’

While Rappler will continue with its operations, Lim reiterated that it will not defy orders from the court.

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“Until our courts of law say that we have to close down by ultimately upholding the SEC decision, it’s business as usual for us,” he said.

Asked about whether the SEC can implement the shutdown while Rappler appeals the case, Lim noted: “That’s a possibility but based on our study, the SEC cannot enforce the decision pending appeal.”

If such happens, he said Rappler may seek a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction to the CA to prevent the execution of the shutdown.

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TAGS: foreign ownership of media outlets, Maria Ressa, Rappler, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
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