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Palace: SEC decision vs. Rappler not Marcosian

The decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission to revoke the certificate of incorporation of Rappler Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corp. is not an attack on press freedom, Malacañang said Monday.

"[The Constitutuon] limits media ownership to Filipinos. Rappler has to [comply]. [It's] about a [constitutional] prohibition. [Can't] be Marcosian," presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said in a text message.

In a statement, Roque said that mass media entities should abide by the Constitution's restrictions on ownership and management.

"It is not about infringement on the freedom of the press. ??No one is above the law. Rappler has to comply," he said.

Critics decried the SEC's decision to revoke online news outlet's license to operate over foreign ownership.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, for one, in a tweet described the move as "pure harassment and a clear attack on press freedom."

"It is also Marcosian. It's a move straight out of the dictator's playbook," Hontiveros said.

The SEC revoked the certificate of incorporation of Rappler Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corp. for supposedly violating the foreign ownership restrictions on mass media companies.

In a decision dated Jan. 11, 2018 posted on its website and emailed to reporters on Monday, the regulator revoked the certificates of both companies for supposedly failing to comply with Philippine laws.

“Revocation of Certificate of Incorporation on each respondent—Rappler Inc. being the mass media entity that sold control to foreigners, and Rappler Holdings Corporation being its alter ego, existing for no other purpose than to effect a deceptive scheme to circumvent the Constitution,” the decision read. — Trisha Macas/RSJ, GMA News