VP Leni Robredo : SEC ruling against Rappler a cause of concern for Press Freedom

VP Leni Robredo : SEC ruling against Rappler a cause of concern for Press Freedom

Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo thinks its an attack on press freedom  and not a legal act done by the  State on cracking down on a corporation not complying with the Philippine Constitution.

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) revoked the registration of online media outlet Rappler Inc. and its controlling stockholder Rappler Holdings Corp. (RHC), a decision that is well grounded in the 1987 Constitution, that media outlets should be controlled and reserved to Filipinos.

The controversial order  made the Vice President issue an statement, the VP is known as a vocal opposition to President Rodrigo Roa Duterte’s  administration.    *
V-Pres. Leni Robredo (photo credit to owner)

Robredo in a statement said that:

“Ito pinagmumulan ‘to ng pagkabahala nating lahat kasi alam natin na parang yung freedom of the press, freedom of expression ay kabilang sa mga karapatan na itinataguyod sa ilalim ng ating Konstitusyon,” Robredo said in an ambush interview with reporters.

She also made mention of the importance of members of the media as “watchdogs” against the irregularities and corruption in the government.

“Alam natin kung bakit kailangan ng media, alam natin kung ano yung silbi ng media. Parating sinasabi natin na yung media, sila yung inaasahan na maging watchdog, sila yung bantay para mabantayan yung pagsubok ng pangaabuso ng nasa pamahalaan,” she said.

“Kung wala ng bantay, ano na yung makakahadlang para sa pangaabuso ng mga opisyal? Inaasahan sana natin yung media yung tumututok sa ganon, ang media ang nagbibigay sa atin ng impormasyon kung merong mga ganitong pangaabusong nangyayari,” she added.

Robredo, a known human rights lawyer in Bicol, said that the attempt to tighten the grip on Philippine media should also give the public a cause for concern.

“Kaya yung kahit ano mang balita na merong pagsubok na parang i-curtail yung freedom of the press, freedom of expression [ay] isang bagay na kailangan mabahala yung bawat Pilipino,” she said.

Last Monday, January 11- the Securities and Exchange Commission revoked the certificate of incorporation of Rappler Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corp. for violating the foreign ownership restrictions on mass media companies as provide in the 1987 Constitution. *

SEC grounded its decision from the Foreign Equity Restriction of the Philippine Constitution, which states that "(t)he ownership and management of mass media shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations, cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such citizens."

"The Foreign Equity Restriction is very clear. Anything less than One Hundred Percent (100 percent) Filipino control is a violation," the SEC decision read.
Report from GMA News Online


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