Foreign Correspondents of the Philippines Statement on Rappler
THE Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines 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 FOCAP Board
Foreign Correspondents Club of Thailand Statement on the threat to shut down Rappler in the Philippines
The professional membership of the Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand is deeply concerned by the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission of the Philippines to revoke the licence of Rappler, a relatively new and influential online media company.
The SEC’s decision is based on an article of the constitution banning foreign ownership of media companies, which Rappler is accused of breaching through its use of Philippine Depository Receipts, a financial instrument commonly used by investors in the country.
Whatever the merits of the SEC’s reasoning, its decision will have profound and negative consequences for media freedom in the Philippines, which has hitherto enjoyed a reputation for having one of the liveliest media environments in Asia. It is also worrying that the SEC initiated its investigation of Rappler only after President Rodrigo Duterte had publicly called its ownership into question.
Rappler has proved itself to be a bold and professional dissenting voice to the administration of President Duterte. It has done valuable and thorough research into the organised abuse of social media to intimidate critics of the administration, for which its staff have been subjected to serious abuse.
The professional membership of the FCCT urges the SEC to review its decision, and to find a solution that does not result in the silencing of this important media outlet.
Beyond Deadlines statement on SEC’s decision to shut down Rappler
Beyond Deadlines condemn in the strongest possible manner the underhanded attempts to suppress press freedom in the Philippines. Shutting down Rappler is nothing but a crude attempt by the powers that be to quell truthful reportage in the Philippines.
Let all media organizations unite, not behind Rappler, but in the efforts to defend press freedom in the country which was won through the blood, sweat and tears by those who came before us during the dark days of the Marcos dictatorship.
Protect Press Freedom Now!
(Click link above to read the story via Beyond Deadlines)