MANILA — Rappler is set to appeal the decision by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) upholding its earlier decision to revoke the news site's license to operate that may lead to their shutdown.
In a press conference after SEC confirmed its en banc’s decision, Rappler lawyer Atty. Francis Lim said this is not final and executory.
”The present decision that we are now discussing is a decision that can be appealed directly to the Court of Appeals via what we call a petition to review," said Lim.
"And we have 15 days from yesterday to file a petition for review or what the layman know, appeal to the Court of Appeals. From Court of Appeals, we will have a chance to file a motion for reconsideration with CA. (Just) in case CA disagrees with us, and we will have the final appeal all the way to Supreme Court,” he continued.
Lim said "it's not the end of the world" for Rappler because there is still a long process to go.
Lim, who once served as president and CEO to the Philippine Stock Exchange, pointed out that Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) are not the same as owning shares of stocks.
The SEC cited its earlier decision that questioned Rappler's PDRs, which it said violated the foreign ownership restriction in mass media.
”I’ve come from the stocks exchange and there is a very big difference between depositary receipts and shares of stocks. So that’s one area of contention. And we do hope, due to the significance against and its implications especially on press freedom, the Supreme Court will finally resolve that very important issue,” Lim said.
They may also seek a temporary restraining order if the SEC decision will be enforced.
Rappler co-founder and CEO Maria Ressa said it is business as usual for them despite the latest decision of SEC.
”We’ll continue to do our jobs. Our reporters... we continue to hold the line. We’ll continue to report and we’ll continue to demand that access is there. I appeal to journalists in the Philippines, all around the world, that we hold our rights together because if we give it up just a little bit, we begin to lose. That’s what I call death by a thousand cuts,” she said.
Ressa, a Nobel laureate, has also appealed to the incoming Marcos administration.
”I continue to appeal to work to the incoming admin, to work with journalists. We're here to help you give a better future for the Philippines. We're not your enemies,” she said.
Aside from the SEC case, Ressa and Rappler have five tax evasion cases filed against them, one anti-dummy case, and one cyber libel case on appeal.