Former Senator Leila M. de Lima deplored the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) reported decision to uphold its shutdown of online news organization Rappler.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, finds the revocation order against Rappler as “maliciously-timed” especially because it happened just days before Mr. Rodrigo Duterte steps down from office.
“The maliciously timed order to shutdown Rappler has Duterte’s vengeful imprint. It’s no secret, but recently he also openly admitted that the shutdown of ABS-CBN was his vicious idea,” De Lima said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1,272.
“So, what is this, saving his last ‘kill-kill-kill’ bullet on press freedom before he finally exits and joins the ranks of markedly corrupt, despotic, politically and economically disruptive, and most crooked politicians in the annals of Philippine history?” she added.
Nobel Peace Prize laureate and journalist Maria Ressa, founder and CEO of Rappler, recently announced that the SEC affirmed its earlier decision to revoke the certificates of incorporation of Rappler Inc & Rappler Holdings Corporation.
Shortly after Ressa’s announcement, the SEC confirmed the issuance of its order, reiterating Rappler’s supposed “violation of constitutional and statutory restrictions on foreign ownership in mass media.”
Ressa said Rappler will appeal the decision “especially since the proceedings were highly irregular” and not immediately executory.
It can be noted that Duterte, in the past years, have directly and personally attacked Rappler and other media organizations he deemed critical of his administration. Ressa also faced a slew of harassment cases under his regime.
De Lima maintained that the recent development on Rappler “simply solidified the Duterte legacy of oppression against critics and media organizations, especially those who are independent and fearless.”
“These six years under Duterte have been a total disaster to post-EDSA Philippine democracy, and the havoc continues until the very last day. What a way to mark the end of this vindictive and repressive regime!” she said. (30)