THERE IS nothing political in the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) decision to terminate news website Rappler’s license to operate, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday, January 16.
Duterte vehemently denied that he wielded his power to sway the SEC in revoking Rappler’s certificate of incorporation.
“We never had the hand and I don’t give a s*** if you continue or not continue with your network,” the President said in an event held in Pasay City as he tried to get the attention of Rappler reporter Pia Ranada, who also graced the event.
Earlier today, Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque Jr. Revealed that the President was unhappy with the “unfair” accusation of Rappler chief executive officer Maria Ressa that SEC’s ruling was part of the government’s move to deprive journalist of its right to press freedom.
The January 11 decision released by SEC ordered the closure of Rappler for purportedly violating constitutional provision of limiting the ownership of media entities to Fiipinos.
Rappler has gained support from various journalism groups following the SEC's decision.
Rappler had floated the alleged “pure and simple harassment” of the Duterte government but the President said otherwise.
Duterte, who has become critical of Rappler because of its alleged biased news stories against his administration, said he never did anything against the media entity even though it had been hurling him “trash and s***” since he assumed office in June 2016.
He also slammed Rappler for crying foul over the alleged "harassment," which he said did not exist.
“Remember, the composition of SEC is Aquino [appointees]. There are about five, I only appointed one. So how could it be political?” Duterte said.
“I don’t care about it (SEC’s ruling). You have been throwing trash and shit all around but I just let you do that. No one makes a move. But then, someone discovered [something against you], that’s the problem. But after the discovery, you’ll say that’s harassment?” he added. (SunStar Philippines)