MANILA - The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP) lambasted the Securities and Exchange Commission for revoking the registration papers of online news media Rappler.
NUJP said it stands with Rappler, saying the SEC rejected the news agency's contention that its foreign investors merely placed money in the company and that it remains 100% Filipino-owned.
"It was but one of many threats Duterte has made against media critical of him and his governance, such as the Philippine Daily Inquirer and broadcast network ABS-CBN, whose franchise renewal he threatened to block," it said in a statement.
"We are sure Rappler, as it has said, is capable of mounting a legal defense against what amounts to their closure," it added.
SEC revoked the certificate of incorporation of Rappler for allegedly violating the constitutional restriction on foreign ownership of mass media.
Rappler "sold control to foreigners," the SEC said in a resolution dated Jan. 11. The regulator said the Department of Justice will be furnished a copy of the decision for "appropriate action."
Rappler issued a statement after the decision was released, calling on the public to "defend press freedom."
President Rodrigo Duterte previously claimed that Rappler was "fully owned" by Americans, as he warned the company that it violated the 1987 Constitution.