EVERYTHING WE KNOW ABOUT: PHILIPPINES ORDERS SHUTDOWN OF MARIA RESSA’S CRITICAL NEWS SITE
Authorities in the Philippines have once more commanded the closure of an investigative news website that Maria Ressa, the recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, created.
One of the few media sites in the Philippines that criticises President Rodrigo Curette’s administration is Rappler. Just before Duterte leaves office and is succeeded by his buddy Ferdinand Marcos Jr., who won the May election, the regulator issued its decision.
ACCORDING TO RAPPLER, IT WOULDN’T BE CLOSING AND WILL CONTEST THE RULING IN COURT
According to Ms. Ressa, we’ll carry on with business as usual and keep working.
“We will adhere to the legal procedure and keep defending our rights. We’ll maintain the line.” She said that the decision had been reached following a wildly irregular process and that the site could no longer rely on the rule of law.
According to the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission and the courts, Rappler’s funding mechanism is unconstitutional, hence the decision to cancel the company’s operating licence was upheld after an appeal.
Because of alleged violations of foreign ownership limitations in Philippine media, the regulator initially issued an order against Rappler in 2018, revoking the news organization’s credentials. Since then, Rappler has been contesting the decision. It disputes that the cash it receives from US investors is illegal.
Rappler acknowledged receiving funds from the Omiydar network in 2015—a charitable investment firm founded by Pierre Omiydar, the wealthy creator of Ebay—but said that no foreign influence had been given up. Three years later, it gave the investment to Rappler’s Filipino workforce as evidence that it did not own a majority interest in the company.
Ms. Ressa claimed on Wednesday that the SEC’s decision was the most recent setback in a six-year offensive by the government in reaction to Rappler’s scathing reporting. She declared, “We have been subjected to harassment, this is intimidation, these are political techniques, and we will not submit to them.”
The “spurious” action by the SEC, according to Human Rights Watch, was an attempt to “lock up Nobel laureate Maria Ressa and shut down Rappler, by hook or by crook.” At least seven criminal and civil charges that Ms. Ressa, who helped co-found the website in 2012, is facing, according to her, are politically charged.
She is contesting her 2020 libel conviction, which is viewed as a test of journalistic freedom in the Philippines. For her reporting for Rappler, she and Russian journalist Dmitry Muratov shared the Nobel Peace Prize last year.
Her exercise of her right to free speech to “highlight misuse of power, use of violence, and rising authoritarianism in her native country, the Philippines,” earned her praise. The injunction against Rappler was issued in the midst of mounting apprehensions about the new Marcos administration.
The nation’s former dictator, Marcos Sr., punished political opponents, human rights advocates, and journalists during his rule.
Concerns over free speech and media repression have already been expressed by activists.
Philippines officials only recently advised internet service providers to remove websites that support left-wing activists. In the nation, journalists who criticise the government frequently face abuse.
There have been numerous reports of “troll farms” used to threaten and threaten journalists and political opponents. The Philippines is ranked 147 out of 180 nations by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), down nine places from 2021.
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