MANILA – The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revoked the certificate of incorporation of news website Rappler for allegedly violating the Constitution and the Anti-Dummy Law.
In a resolution dated January 11, the SEC said Rappler “sold to foreigners” thus violating the Anti-Dummy Law. But Rappler said “Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) do not indicate ownership. This means our foreign investors, Omidyar Network and North Base Media, do not own Rappler.”
SEC has claimed that Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar, controlled operations of Rappler. It said Rappler violated constitutional restrictions on ownership and control of mass media entities because of funds coming from Omidyar Network, a fund created by eBay founder and entrepreneur Pierre Omidyar.
“They invest, but they don’t own. Rappler remains 100-percent Filipino-owned,” it said, referring to its statement issued in July 2016.
Rappler has called on the public to “defend press freedom.”
“The En Banc finds Rappler, Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corporation, a Mass Media Entity and its alter ego, liable for violating the constitutional and statutory Foreign Equity Restriction in Mass Media, enforceable through laws and rules within the mandate of the commission,” the SEC en banc said in its decision published on its website Monday.
SEC has voided the Omidyar Philippine Depositary Receipt (PDR) and revoked Rappler’s Certificate of Incorporation.
A PDR is a financial instrument that does not give the owner voting rights in the board or a say in the management or day-to-day operations of the company.