MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – In a little-known class action law suit filed recently by a group of constitutionalists, the Philippine Supreme Court has ruled that Rappler, the online news source, is “unconstitutional.”
The adverse verdict is a devastating blow to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa who, in a counter-petition asked the high court to allow her to “take back the Internet.”
The ruling was largely based on a constitutional provision that expressly prohibits foreign equity in mass media, except recording (Article XVI, Sec. 11).
It is no secret that one of Rappler’s investors is Omidyar Network, the fund created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam to help businesses use markets and technology for social impact. Omidyar is also CEO and publisher of Honolulu Civil Beat, a local news service in Hawaii.
No less than Rappler announced the foreign investment by Omidyar way back in 2015.
But Ressa is known to never easily give up on anything.
Taking advantage of the loophole in the constitutional provision that exempts recording form foreign mass media investments, Ressa announced today that she is converting Rappler into a recording company with a unique concept:
All its news and commentary will be sung by recording artists which will practically shield the online news source from the investment prohibition.
As of press time, it wasn’t clear whether Ressa or Rappler’s star reporter Pia Rañada will be among the recording artists that will be featured in the new, improved company.
Please welcome Rappler Recording!