SEC could have dealt with Rappler in 'non-draconian' measures: CMFR

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jan 17 2018 11:50 AM

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MANILA - The Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility believes the Security and Exchange Commission could have dealt with news website Rappler without easing the company out of business.

Speaking to ANC Wednesday, CMFR chair Vergel Santos said one option for SEC is to notify Rappler about the possible violation and tell them the remedies they can do. 

"These are differences that can be sorted without resorting to that draconian measure or without putting Rappler out of business," said Santos, stressing what SEC did was an attack against the freedom of the press. 

However, chief presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the SEC had no choice but to implement the law because it is simply their job to punish violators. 

Panelo said Rappler can still bring the case to the courts and in case the revocation of its incorporation would be upheld, they can still reapply for one.

"If there is a violation and the law says there must be imposition of penalties with respects to the violation, then SEC has no other alternative to do," the lawyer said, standing by the position that what SEC did was not an attack to press freedom.

SEC earlier revoked the certificate of incorporation of Rappler for allegedly violating the constitutional restriction on foreign ownership of mass media.