Tuesday, January 16, 2018

SEC Orders Closure of Rappler

Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ordered the closure of Rappler, citing "constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities because of funds coming from Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar."

According to Maria Ressa, founder and CEO of Rappler, there is no truth that Rappler has foreign owners.

"We will continue bringing you the news, holding the powerful to account for their actions and decisions, calling attention to government lapses that further disempower the disadvantaged. We will hold the line."

If the recent accussation against Rappler is not true, then does this mean this online publication is making certain people worried? Too worried that they'll do everything to shut it down? Is Rappler influential enough to bring down certain people?

A netizen commented "If SEC insists on the PDR issue then ABS-CBN, TV5, GMA7, etc., should not be far behind. Media ownership should be 100% Filipino, according to the implementing rules. PDRs issued to non-Filipinos is gross violation of the investment act."

Minus the technicalities and legalities, "When foreign investors could easily dictate and influence decisions in a company, isn't that sort of ownership too?"

I'm sure many would say Rappler is being scrutinized because it is one of the critics of the Duterte administration. Many would cry "press freedom" is being attacked, and would reason out that there's just too many violators out there but how come only Rappler is being singled out.

Regardless of the accussations, we also need to know if it is true or not. We are interested to find out if Rappler does indeed have foreign owners disguised as investors but have a deciding power and authority over the online publication.

Rappler is no longer a "startup" as others would perceive as we all know it's bigger than many other publications.

I'm sure we will be opening a can of worms if we go deep to the "arrangements" of Rappler with their "investors", both foreign and local. I do hope it serves a learning opportunity for all of us.

But even if the government is truly making it difficult for Rappler because of political reasons, the legal option is still lawful. So it will now be between the lawyers of both parties to battle it out in court. Needless to say, they both have the "funds" to fight for their rights.

If Rappler wins in this battle, it would surely rise triumphantly when it returns because of the publicity. In my case, I don't even read it because of its seemingly biased and controversially-titled click-bait articles. But almost everyone is guilty of that crime anyway.

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