MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – After her Malacañang star reporter Pia Ranada was banned from the Palace, and following the charges brought against her for tax evasion and cyber libel, Rappler CEO Maria Ressa seemed to be running out of rhetoric: “Suppression of Press Freedom,” “Political Persecution,” “Intimidation.”
Well, Ressa just found her new battlecry: “Financial Persecution!”
This, after The Court of Tax Appeals denied her appeal and that of Rappler Holdings Corporation (RHC) to void the tax fraud cases filed against them and remand it to the Department of Justice. It also junked RHC’s motion to suspend the proceedings.
The tax court’s first division will now proceed with the trial of the four tax evasion cases against Ressa and RHC.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – It already got itself in trouble once, so Rappler is making sure the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) as well as the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) don’t go after the online news source again.
Many will recall that SEC earlier revoked Rappler’s media license on the grounds that it violated the Constitutional provision of 100% Filipino ownership of media entities. CEO Maria Ressa is also facing charges of tax evasion in connection with monies owed the government by Rappler.
Rappler just proudly announced on its site that the global media (read: foreign media) had established a fund-raising campaign to contribute to ‘journalism’ causes such as Ressa’s.
But Ressa has a big dilemma. By accepting foreign funding, Rappler faces more scrutiny from SEC and BIR. She could always argue that the funds will not go directly to Rappler’s media operations, which is in effect, an admission that her online news source is not a media company — which also means that she no longer can claim that she is being harassed and intimidated by the Philippine government just because she is a journalist.
So what’s there to do?
Well, Ressa has asked foreign media contributors that any funds given to Rappler should be in the form of Philippine Depository Receipts (PDRs). Ressa has used PDRs to support her claim that investments in Rappler by foreign entities such as Omidyar Network do not violate the Constitutional prohibition on foreign ownership of media.
Is this a case of Rappler trying to have its cake and eat it too?
We’re a satire site (often denied by Rappler), so we’ll let the legal experts as well as the SEC and BIR make that determination.
MANILA, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles, Manila Bureau) – When you get your 13th month pay this December, don’t spend it all for your Christmas shopping. This could be your last.
Opposition Senators Kiko Pangilinan and Risa Hontiveros have co-sponsored a bill that would abolish the 13th month pay beginning next year.
Many will recall that the law requiring employers to pay their employees a 13th month pay equivalent to their monthly salary was a brainchild of the late President Ferdinand E. Marcos.
Hontiveros told The Adobo Chronicles that the rationale behind their bill is to correct Philippine history and to nullify as many proclamations and executive orders issued by the late dictator. She and Pangilinan believe that many of the laws passed under the Marcos regime were unconstitutional.
Other Opposition Senators like Antonio Trillanes, Franklin Drilon, Bambam Aquino and Leila De Lima have indicated that they will support and endorse the new bill.