SEC says shutdown order vs Rappler serves 'public interest' | Inquirer News

SEC says shutdown order vs Rappler serves ‘public interest’

/ 05:01 PM June 29, 2022

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Wednesday justified its order upholding the revocation of Rappler’s license to operate, saying it serves the “public interest.”


The 12-page SEC order dated June 28 affirmed the 2018 ruling for the cancellation of the certificates of registration of Rappler Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) for allegedly violating the prohibitions on foreign media ownership.

“Public interest will be served if the revocation of the Certificate of Incorporation of Rappler and RHC is sustained because it will implement the policy of respecting and fully complying with the provisions of the Constitution, to which every Filipino owes allegiance,” the SEC said in its order.


READ: SEC has ordered Rappler shutdown, says CEO Ressa 

SEC says shutdown order vs Rappler serves 'public interest'

FILE PHOTO: Securities and Exchange Commission (RADYO INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

The SEC’s ruling also reiterated its earlier findings regarding Rappler’s Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) that were previously held by Omidyar Network, a foreign investment firm established by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar.

It asserted that Rappler, through the Omidyar Network PDRs, “willfully violated” Presidential Decree No. 1018, which ensures that all Filipino media outlets must be wholly owned or controlled by citizens of the Philippines.

READ: SEC orders Rappler to shut down

Rappler’s chief legal counsel Francis Lim stressed, however, that the Omidyar Network PDRs did not render shares or control over the company’s operations.

“In this case, we do not admit that the ownership of the PDRs by the foreigners equates to ownership or equity interest in the Rappler Inc. or RHC… There is a very big difference between depository receipts and shares of stock,” Lim said at a news conference.

In 2018, Omidyar Network donated its PDRs to 14 Filipino Rappler managers “to address the unwarranted ruling” made by the SEC. The Court of Appeals then directed the SEC to evaluate the donation.


But the SEC’s latest ruling maintained that this does not cure Rappler’s alleged violations.

Since receiving the shutdown order, Rappler has expressed its intention to exhaust legal remedies to reverse the decision.

The SEC’s reaffirmed revocation order against Rappler came days before President Rodrigo Duterte steps down from office on Thursday. Rappler is among the Filipino media outfits known to be critical of the outgoing administration.


‘No finality yet’: Rappler to appeal SEC shutdown order


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TAGS: foreign ownership, license to operate, Media, Omidyar, Rappler, Securities and Exchange Commission
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