MANILA - The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on Friday reiterated that news website Rappler may still operate, even as it said there was nothing wrong with Malacañang's decision to bar the agency's reporter from the Palace compound.
"They filed an appeal at the appellate court and SEC has to file a reply. So it is undergoing due process, but we are also confident in our original ruling," SEC Chairperson Teresita Herbosa told reporters.
Herbosa said, however, that the Palace was "exercising its right to determine who should be granted access" when it barred the news website and its reporter Pia Ranada from covering press briefings and other events of the President.
"That is its own independent decision," she said, as she again stressed that the commission is an independent body.
President Rodrigo Duterte had said Thursday he issued the order to ban Rappler from the Palace following the SEC ruling which revoked the company’s registration papers for supposedly violating foreign ownership rules. The news website criticized Malacañang's move as an attempt to "intimidate independent journalists."
After it released its decision last month, the SEC had also said Rappler, which has run several stories critical of the administration, may still continue with its operations pending its appeal before the courts.
-- report from Warren de Guzman, ABS-CBN News