“An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. It is an attack on the freedoms over which we stand guard. Understand that we will see things this way. No, you will not be granted the impunity to make such attacks on ANY news outlets in the Freest Press in Asia.” –Alma Anonas-Carpio
Rappler CEO Maria Ressa said the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) ruling did not go through due process.
“They didn’t go through due process. The en banc, essentially, issued an order to shut us down without giving us the opportunity to respond to what the special panel found. It wasn’t a normal process,” she said.
The SEC order “revoking Rappler’s license to operate is the first of its kind in history – both for the Commission and for Philippine media.” It is obviously politically motivated. I don’t always agree with Rappler. When Rappler was new in 2012, I had initial misgivings. about their “social media” branding. But we learned along the way , learning to collaborate in social good projects. The recent actions against Rappler is an attack on freedom of the press. Granting Rappler violated the Constitution, where is the due process? Many of my fellow advocates stand with Rappler and are out to defend press freedom.
Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) : “For a government that violates the multiple constitutional provisions on territory, checks and balances, separation of powers and the Bill of Rights, the Duterte regime is fooling no one in its “constitutionality” case against Rappler. Duterte has no credibility on constitutionality.
MAT reminds the public that wannabe dictator Rodrigo Duterte had openly said he wanted this to happen, and now it has happened. And as the DDS thought-leaders have repeatedly said, the regime will do everything to bring down Rappler and other media outlets they cannot control or shake down.”
Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity (LODI): LODI sees the SEC’s move as an open attack on the people’s rights to free expression and to a free press.
We view the SEC action, which by some accounts seems rushed, as the logical next step to the DDS-initiated harassments, death and rape threats, and trolling against Rappler, its editors and staff. The threats come from the President himself who, like any garden-variety tyrant, is allergic to journalists who don’t follow or, worse, question his chosen narrative.
Who is next, Mr. President? ABS-CBN? The community journalists tagged as communists? The artists who expose your bloody drug war?
Herbie Docena : “Whatever we may think of Rappler and its politics, I hope we don’t lose sight of the real reason why Duterte and his enablers want to shut it down: Not because it allegedly violates a constitutional restriction on foreign ownership that Duterte himself is keen to abolish but because it is one of the few remaining media organizations that asks the questions that Duterte does not want asked, report the news that Dutete does not want reported, and air the views that Duterte would rather suppress. In short: because it is one of the few remaining obstacles that stand in the way of Duterte’s gradually emerging dictatorial regime. This is why this is not just about Rappler; it is about nothing less than the limited democratic freedoms we still have–including our freedom to criticize (or even just form an opinion about) Rappler and other media organizations. And this is why, despite any misgivings I may have about Rappler and the liberal press, I #SupportRappler and all the critical journalists that Duterte wants to silence.”
Renato Reyes: A bit hypocritical, this use of “foreign ownership” as the basis for revoking Rappler’s license, when the thrust of the regime’s Charter change is to actually allow 100% foreign ownership of media.
Tonyo Cruz: “Only Duterte, Duterte factotums and the DDS misinformation/disinformation network believe their own lie about foreign ownership of Rappler. The consensus outside the DDS bubble is that this is a shameful attack on press freedom and a shakedown meant to scare journalists.”
Even media friends are making a stand on the SEC decision.
The Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines or FOCAP ” expresses deep concern with the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to cancel the certificate of incorporation of Rappler.
The decision, which is tantamount to killing the online news site, sends a chilling effect to media organizations in the country.
Journalists must be able to work independently in an environment free from intimidation and harassment. An assault against journalists is an assault against democracy.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) :It was but one of many threats Duterte has made against media critical of him and his governance, such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and broadcast network ABS-CBN, whose franchise renewal he threatened to block.
We are sure Rappler, as it has said, is capable of mounting a legal defense against what amounts to their closure.
As it does so, the NUJP declares it full support to Rappler and all other independent media outfits that the state has threatened and may threaten to shut down.
Senator Bam Aquino says “the shutdown of Rappler is a win for fake news, and a loss for dissenting voices and free speech”
I agree with MAT that “SEC decision on Rappler is a preview of what’s in store for media under an an openly-fascist Duterte dictatorship. Media outlets would be slapped with questionable cases, their registration revoked and accreditation taken back — simply because Duterte and his DDS media network perceive them as critical of the regime.”
Let’s continue to defend press freedom.