Join Rappler in defending press freedom in the Philippines
EDITORIAL: By the Rappler team
We will continue to bring you the news, to hold the powerful accountable for their actions and decisions, to draw attention to government failings that further weaken the underprivileged. We will hold the line.
Dear Readers and Viewers, We thought this day would never come, even though we were warned the first week of December last year that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) would issue a ruling against us.
Because we acted in good faith and upheld the highest standards in a rapidly changing business environment, we were confident that the nation’s leading business regulator would place the public interest above other interests at stake in this matter.
In fact, we were initially relieved that it was the SEC that initiated what appeared to us to be customary due diligence, given our earlier information that it was the Solicitor General’s Office that formed, in November 2016, a special team to build a case against us.
We were wrong. The SEC kill order revoking call back operating license is the first of its kind in history, both for the Commission and for the Philippine media. What this means for you, and for us, is that the Commission is ordering us to close up shop, stop telling you stories, stop speaking truth to power, and abandon everything we’ve built – and created – with you since 2012.
All because they zeroed in on a clause in one of our contracts that we submitted to – and accepted by – the SEC in 2015.
Today, the Commission accuses us of violating the Constitution, a serious charge considering how, as a company steeped in the public interest, we have always been transparent and forthright in our practices.
Transparency best evidence
Every year since our incorporation in 2012, we have scrupulously complied with all SEC regulations and submitted all requirements, even at the risk of exposing our corporate data to irresponsible hands with a diary.
Transparency is, in our view, the best proof of good faith and good conduct. None of this seems to matter to the SEC.
In a record investigation time of 5 months and after President Rodrigo Duterte himself castigated Rapper in its second SONA in July 2017, the SEC issued this ruling against us.
This is harassment pure and simple, the apparent deathblow to the relentless and malicious attacks on us since 2016:
We intend not only to challenge this through every legal process available to us, but also to fight for our freedom to do journalism and for your right to be heard through an independent platform like Call back.
We’ve been through a lot together, good and bad – sharing stories, building communities, inspiring hope, uncovering wrongdoing, fighting trolls, exposing the fake. We will continue to bring you the news, to hold the powerful accountable for their actions and decisions, to draw attention to government failings that further weaken the underprivileged.
We will hold the line. The support you have shown us all this time, and our commitment to telling you stories without fear, gives us hope.
You inspire courage. You have taught us that when you stand up and fight for what is right, there are no dead ends, only obstacles that can only make us stronger. We ask that you be with us again during this difficult time.
Republished with permission. First published on January 15, 2018, when the SEC originally ordered Rappler shut down.