I tend to see a lot of people online showing their support for press freedom and then following it with some random statement in support with Rappler. Sure, I don’t think there is anything wrong with supporting press freedom. We don’t want another flawed type of Marcos dictatorship in the country again, do we?
Some staunch supporters of president Rodrigo Duterte probably hates me right now because I support this press freedom campaign and idea but I assume they only hate the idea of it because they think it’s mainly to support Rappler after SEC sued them regarding their alleged violation of the constituitional and statutory Foreign Equity Restriction in Mass Media enforceable through rules and laws within the mandate of the Commission.
Sorry I had to copy paste that part but in a less lawyer definition, it means that a mass media such as Rappler, by the constituition, isn’t allowed to be funded by a foreign company or to give commission or owe a foreign body. The mass media should 100% be owned by a Filipino. However, according to an investigation of the SEC, (which I don’t think was detailed out on public yet) Rappler was partly owned by this foreign company called Omidyar Network leading the government body to revoke Rappler’s license to operate. This has also been the basis of SEC’s order to investigate on Rappler’s Philippine Depository Receipts (PDR) for further proofs.
What is a PDR even? A PDR is an investment in a local company where the holder has the right to earn without having an equity stake.
The first time I heard about this issue, I’m in favor of the idea of giving Rappler a chance to prove themselves and that they didn’t violate any law as to what SEC is accusing them of. I was also further in favor of Rappler when the breaking news appeared saying that Rappler’s license to operate gets revoked by the SEC after this unexpected investigation. As an initial reaction, I thought “Why aren’t there any warning? Why did they just jump into the worst punishment of closing and revocation of license instead of giving a warning?”
I was on Rappler’s side for a moment but after reading more articles and seeing the way they respond to this issue, I started to change my mind.
Continue reading For Press Freedom but not for Rappler