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Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission revokes the company registration of Rappler

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CoNet Administrator
chiefofficersnet

Rappler is one of the most successful news websites in The Philippines and it has reported stories critical of the government and of President Rodrigo Duterte in particular. Even so, it was a surprise when it was informed by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that its company registration had been revoked in what Rappler calls a "kill order."

Although the Order was issued by the SEC, it was the President's PR officer, Harry Roque, that explained what had happened.

"It's not about infringement on the freedom of the press, " he said. "The issue at hand is the compliance of 100% Filipino ownership and management of mass media. No one is above the law. Rappler has to comply."

The SEC itself explained that, under the Philippines' Constitution, mass media must be held entirely by Philippines citizens. However, Rappler Holdings Corporation had received investment from Omidyar Network and North Base Media, American investment companies. The SEC was harsh, saying Rappler existed " for no other purpose than to effect a deceptive scheme to circumvent the constitution."

For its part, Rappler says the investment did not give any ownership rights. The SEC "voided the Omidyar Philippine Depositary Receipt (PDR) and revoked Rappler's Certificate of Incorporation. A PDR is a financial instrument that does not give the owner voting rights in the board or a say in the management or day-to-day operations of the company. Several large media companies have PDRs," Rappler said on its website, making the additional point "The SEC itself accepted the Omidyar-related documents submitted by Rappler in 2015. "

The order takes effect 15 days after it is made, time which Rappler will use to make an appeal.

Further reading including the SEC's Order: https://www.rappler.com/nation...