SEC orders closure of online news site Rappler

MANILA, Philippines - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) revokes license of online news site Rappler for alleged violation of foreign ownership restrictions, the company confirmed on Monday, January 15.

SEC orders closure of online news site Rappler

SEC said Rappler violated constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities because of funds coming Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar.

"(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," statement from SEC decision reads.

Here's the full 29-page document detailing the SEC decision:

Rappler meanwhile said the commission approved the deal with Omidyar in 2015.

"What this means for you, and for us, is that the Commission is ordering us to close shop, to cease telling you stories, to stop speaking truth to power, and to let go of everything that we have built – and created – with you since 2012," the news site said in a statement.

During the SONA of President Rodrigo Duterte in July last year, the highest official threatened to investigate the ownership of Rappler. The company has debunked the allegation and claimed that foreign investors, Omidyar Network and North Base Media, do not own Rappler.

Statement from Malacañang

"The Security and Exchange Commission (SEC) is empowered to determine the legality of corporations.

"We respect the SEC decision that Rappler contravenes the strict requirements of the the law that the ownership and the management of mass media entities must be wholly-owned by Filipinos.

"Rappler may wish to exhaust all available legal remedies until the decision becomes final."

Netizens react

As the company asks to stand with them, supporters and followers pour their views on social media.

Tell us your thoughts on SEC decision to close Rappler.

— The Summit Express

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