Rappler Shutdown is Effectively Affirmed by SEC, Maria Ressa Says

Nobel winner says to appeal decision.
An employee (L) of online portal Rappler heads out from their editorial office in Manila on January 15, 2018, while a private security guard stands.
Photo/s: TED ALJIBE / AFP/File

(UPDATE) The Securities and Exchange Commission has affirmed its earlier ruling that will effectively shutter Rappler, the news website's CEO Maria Ressa said Wednesday, on the eve of President Rodrigo Duterte's exit from power.

Nobel winner Ressa said Rappler would continue to operate while the the decision is on appeal. The SEC had revoked the company's certificate of incorporation, without which, it cannot operate legally.

“We were notified by our lawyers of this ruling that effectively confirmed the shut down of Rappler,” she said during the East West Center conference in Hawaii.

ALSO READ: Maria Ressa Accepts Nobel Prize, Says Social Media Platforms Fueling 'Toxic Sludge'

"It is business as usual for us since in our view, this is not immediately executory without court approval,” she added.

Rappler has been critical of the administration of Duterte, particularly his bloody war on drugs. In 2018, the President barred Rappler's reporter Pia Ranada from entering Malacañang. Two years later, he called Ressa a "fraud".

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"We are entitled to appeal this decision and will do so, especially since the proceedings were highly irregular," Rappler said in a statement.

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The case stemmed from the SEC's  2018 order to cancel Rappler's registration for allegedly violating the constitutional requirement for mass media to be fully Filipino-owned because it allowed Omidyar Network to hold Philippine Depositary receipts--financial instruments that both Filipinos and foreigners can invest in.

As of posting time, Rappler continues to operate as a news website.

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