Tuesday 13 November, 2018
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Rappler appeals CA decision, insists it’s 100% Filipino-owned

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Online news outfit Rappler has appealed the Court of Appeals’ (CA) July 26 decision that affirmed the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) finding that it was not 100% Filipino-owned as required by the 1987 Constitution.

Although the CA Special 12th Division said the SEC should have given Rappler a chance to correct the unconstitutionality before revoking its articles of incorporation, the news website was apparently not satisfied.

In a 122-page partial motion for reconsideration, Rappler continued to deny that the company’s Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) to Omidyar Network gave it “some foreign control.”

The CA had cited as proof of foreign control the provision in the PDR agreement that required Rappler to discuss with Omidyar any plans to amend its constitution and bylaws in a way that would affect the investor’s rights.

But, Rappler disputed this interpretation, saying control only exists when there are voting rights—which Omidyar did not have.

It added that under Article 1158 of the Civil Code, it cannot be penalized yet because of the clause since Omidyar never exercised it and had even waived it.

“If an act punishable by law has not been performed, then, the corresponding penalty under the law cannot be applied to one accused of violating it,” the appeal read.

Rappler also contested the CA’s pronouncement that the SEC substantially complied with the due process requirement. It said “the summary revocation of their certificates of incorporation was a violation of their Constitutional rights to due process.”

Rappler also took exception to the CA’s remark that the corporate issue was not an issue of press freedom, citing President Duterte’s accusation in his 2017 State of the Nation Address (SONA) that the outfit was “American-owned.”

The CA decision had tossed the case back to the SEC, directing the agency to evaluate the legal effect of Omidyar’s move to donate its PDRs to Rappler’s Filipino managers.

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