CEBU CITIZENS-PRESS COUNCIL (CCPC) STATEMENT
January 16, 2018
Rappler has right
to go on publishing.
And it’s not a matter
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reportedly said Rappler can still operate its website because the news organization’s appeal of the SEC ruling revoking its incorporation papers is still pending.
That implies the SEC document is what enables Rappler to publish. Unlike broadcast media that use airwaves and need franchise to broadcast, newspapers and print and online publications such as Rappler don’t require license to publish.
What the SEC has cancelled was the license to do business as a corporation, a decision that Rappler can assail all the way to the Supreme Court. Not the license to publish. Clearly, it is not by virtue of bureaucratic procedure that it can continue gathering and reporting the news.
That distinction is not insignificant: it stabs into the core of press freedom.
Viewed against the fact that the news site was singled out by the administration as highly critical of its policies and decisions, SEC has dragged Rappler dangerously close to that place where free press is as fragile as can be.
PACHICO A. SEARES