By Genalyn Kabiling
Malacañang has refused to interfere in the case of Rappler filed in court, saying it would just let the law take its course.
Presidential Spokesman Salvador Panelo issued the statement after the Court of Appeals rejected Rappler’s appeal to reverse a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) decision revoking its business registration.
“As we said, any case that has been filed before the courts, we will not interfere. We will let the law takes its course,” Panelo said during a Palace press conference.
Panelo insisted that the case of the online media entity was not at all related to the issue of press freedom.
In a decision dated March 5, the Court of Appeals denied Rappler’s appeal to reverse SEC’s order that revoked its license to operate due to lack of merit. The court upheld its previous ruling that the online entity was not fully Filipino-owned.
Last year, the SEC cancelled the business registration of Rappler for alleged foreign ownership, a violation in foreign equities restrictions in mass media under the Constitution.
President Duterte previously slammed Rappler for being a “fake news outlet” that operates using foreign money. He claimed that Rappler’s articles, such as the report about his assistant Christopher Go’s alleged intervention in a Navy weapon supplier procurement, were filled “with innuendos and pregnant with falsity.”
Since SEC handed down its decision, Malacañang has prohibited Rappler from covering the President’s activities in and out of Malacañang.