MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – The long-awaited ruling by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is finally out! It has ruled that Rappler is a political organization, not media.
It will be recalled that SEC previously revoked Rappler’s media license for violating the Constitutional provision that Philippine media must be 100% Filipino-owned. Foreign investors like Omidyar Network invested in Rappler, something that CEO Maria Ressa has persistently denied.
Rappler appealed the ruling to the Court of Appeals which all but denied the online news source’s arguments but asked SEC to review its earlier ruling.
In its review, SEC determined that Rappler is a political organization and as such is not covered by the Constitutional provision on media.
SEC said Rappler has been consistently involved in destabilization efforts against the Philippine government under President Rodrigo Duterte and self-promotion by Ressa. It has also been engaged in spreading fake news. All these would classify Rappler as non-media, SEC said.
This is good news for Ressa since it will automatically drop charges against her for violation of the Constitution.
It doesn’t however free her from the other criminal charges on tax evasion and cyber libel.