Philippines Website Defies Government  Order to Close Down


Washington DC:  An independent news website in the Philippines, Rapplerhas said it will continue to operate despite a Government order to close down.

The Philippines Government has revoked registration of the news website Rappler, which effectively requires the news outlet to close down.

The Washington-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) said in an e-mail to news outlets on January 15, 2018 that the website, which has been critical of the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, said it would continue operating while it fights the government order in court.

The Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte

The Committee to Protect Journalists has condemned the order by the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to revoke the certificate of incorporation of the critical news website Rappler.

“The order to close Rappler amounts to a direct assault on freedom of the press in the Philippines,” said Steven Butler, CPJ Asia program coordinator.

“We urge Philippine authorities to back off from this effort to close an independent news outlet, and to respect the guarantee of press freedom enshrined in the Philippines constitution’s Bill of Rights,” Butler said.

The SEC order, according to Rappler and other news reports, was based on a finding that Rappler had used a “deceptive scheme” to circumvent a legal requirement that media properties be locally owned and operated.

Rappler argued that foreign funding it has received does not constitute ownership.