LONDON, United Kingdom (The Adobo Chronicles, Paris Bureau) – Rappler CEO Maria Ressa is reportedly trying to seek asylum in the United Kingdom after she openly admitted violating the Philippine Constitution which prohibits foreign ownership of Philippine media.
In a Media Freedom Conference in the U.K., Ressa admitted that Omidyar Network (ON) owns “less than 5%” of Rappler investments. ON, of course, is a foreign company, and the Constitution mandates that Philippine media must be 100% Filipino-owned. She was responding to a question from Canadian media personality Ezra Levant — a question that wasn’t even addressed to her.
For the longest time, since the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decided to revoke Rappler’s media license, Ressa has denied that ON was part owner of her online news source outfit, using sugar-coated terms like Philippine Depository Receipts (PDR) to mask Omidyar’s investment.
After Rappler lost its court appeal challenging the license revocation, the decision is back in the hands of SEC — whether to let its earlier ruling against Rappler stand.
Now that Ressa herself has admitted to ON’s investment, the SEC needs no further basis to shut down Rappler’s media operations.
As for Ressa’s asylum application, that would be a decision left solely to the United Kingdom.
Moral of the story: don’t respond to any question not directed at you, no matter how eager you are to hijack the answer.