Palace: Donation of PDRs to Rappler an admission of its violation
The donation of investment firm Omidyar Network of its Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to Rappler was an admission of guilt, Malacañang said on Thursday.
“It’s an admission that they violated the Constitution. Why would they donate their PDRs if all along they have been maintaining that they are not in violation of the Constitution?” Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said in an interview with ANC’s Headstart.
Roque said Rappler, whose license to operate has been revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), was not yet off the hook.
“So this is a declaration against interest, it’s an admission that they breached our Constitution and our existing laws and I don’t think that just because they did this, they are off the hook,” he said. “Because you can’t violate the Constitution and say I’m sorry, I won’t violate, let’s go back and resume normal activities.”
The Palace official said Rappler “should form a separate corporate entity without the Philippine Depositary Receipts.”
Rappler said it was now up to the government to prove that politics was not behind the revocation of their license.
“Well, I think that’s the extreme arrogance. In the first place, the SEC doesn’t have anything to prove,” Roque said.
“As far as being politically motivated is concerned, I think everyone knows who the chair of SEC is, everyone knows who the appointing authority of the chairman and the commissioners of the SEC is or are and it’s just strange that all of a sudden, Rappler wants government to defend its position,” he added.
Roque reiterated that Rappler’s license cooperate was revoked because of the Constitution’s provision that media ownership should be limited to Filipinos.
“They alleged the Palace was infringing iyong freedom of the press. We’ve had to answer that this is an issue of money, which according to violating the Constitution. So don’t make pecuniary interest, don’t make avarice for money a reason to claim that government in infringing on their rights,” he said.
Press freedom infringement, he said, “depends on whether or not they have been prevented to publish anything under the sun.”
“And judging from the content of Rappler, that’s farthest from the truth, because they have not written even one favorable article to the administration,” he said. /je