Reverse the decision to shut down Rappler

30 June 2022
The independent news outlet announced that their certificate of incorporation had been revoked by the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission.
Maria Ressa Rappler
Maria Ressa, Rey Santos Jr in 2020l. Credit: Rappler

The Public Media Alliance is highly concerned by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s decision to shut down Rappler. The decision was announced on 28 June.

In a statement published on its Twitter account, Rappler said it would appeal the decision, “since the proceedings were highly irregular.”

The decision was made just two days before the current President, Rodrigo Duterte, steps down, to be succeeded by Ferdinand Marcos Jr.


Rappler and its founder, Maria Ressa, have long been a target of legal harassment by the Filipino government. In April, 14 new cyber legal complaints were filed against Rappler journalists and their sources, on top of the existing seven cases. Ms. Ressa won the Nobel Peace Prize last year in a recognition of the importance of public interest journalism to peace.

The environment for independent journalism in the Philippines is hostile. In 2020, the independent broadcast network, ABS-CBN, was denied the renewal of its broadcasting franchise licence. However, it has continued to broadcast online, and its audience is growing.

In response to the order to shut down, Maria Ressa, told Deutsche Welle she would not back down. “Our goal is to continue holding the line. We’re not going to voluntarily give up our rights. And we really shouldn’t. I’ve continued to appeal for that. Because when you give up your rights, you’re never going to get them back.”

Civil society organisations – such as CPJ, IPI, Human Rights Watch, and many others – have criticised the decision, and called on the new president to reverse the order.

The Public Media Alliance is extremely concerned about the Commission’s decision and what it could do to the media landscape in the Philippines. Under President Duterte’s administration, independent, public interest journalism has been harassed, censored and persecuted. PMA firstly calls for the Commission’s ruling to be reversed, and secondly, for the new administration to change the wider narrative by fostering a political landscape and society where independent accountable journalism is allowed to flourish.