MANILA, KOMPAS.com - A Philippine news site co-founded by Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa has been ordered to shut down, the company said Wednesday, June 29, a day before President Rodrigo Duterte -- its arch-nemesis -- leaves office.
Ressa has been a vocal critic of Duterte and the deadly drug war he launched in 2016, triggering what media advocates say is a grinding series of criminal charges, probes, and online attacks against her and Rappler.
The latest blow was delivered by the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission.
In a statement Wednesday, it confirmed the "revocation of the certificates of incorporation" of Rappler for violating "constitutional and statutory restrictions on foreign ownership in mass media".
Rappler said the decision "effectively confirmed the shutdown" of the company and vowed to appeal, describing the proceedings as "highly irregular".
"We have discussed all possible scenarios with Rappler (staff) since SEC issued its first order in 2018," Glenda Gloria, executive editor, and co-founder of the site told reporters.
"Nothing ever sufficiently prepares an organization for a 'kill' order."
Rappler has had to fight for survival as Duterte's government accused it of violating a constitutional ban on foreign ownership in securing funding, as well as tax evasion.
It has also been accused of cyber libel -- a new criminal law introduced in 2012, the same year Rappler was founded.