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Rappler’s CEO and founder Maria Ressa.

PHOTO BY INTERNATIONAL COMMISSION OF JURISTS


Philippines orders news site Rappler to shut down, Ressa vows to appeal

The Philippine Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) confirmed on Wednesday (June 29) the “revocation of certificates of incorporation” of news site Rappler, which is being ordered to shut down.

SEC accused the news website of breaching “constitutional and statutory restrictions on foreign ownership in mass media”.

Rappler’s CEO and founder Maria Ressa has vowed to keep her news company running despite the shutdown order, which comes a day before Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte leaves office. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. will assume the presidency on Thursday (June 30).

Ressa, a Nobel Peace Prize winner and vocal critic of Duterte, said the company will appeal the decision to shut down the news site. “We continue to work, it is business as usual,” she told reporters, adding that they are following the legal process.

The Philippine government has accused Rappler of publishing “fake news”, as well as cyber libel, tax evasion and breaking laws against foreign ownership of media.

Under the Philippine constitution, investment in media is reserved for Filipinos or Filipino-controlled entities. Rappler’s parent company, Rappler Holdings, allegedly issued “depositary receipts” to circumvent the law and allow foreigners to invest in the news site. ICA/Expat Media


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