This is to inform everyone that under the Rules of Court, judgments and final orders of quasi-judicial agencies, including the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), are not stayed while on appeal with the Court of Appeals (CA), unless the CA directs otherwise. In Rappler’s case, no such directive from the CA has been issued.
We did not implement the SEC decision at once. We could have earlier disallowed Rappler’s Palace beat reporter, Pia Ranada, from entering Malacanang when the SEC decision was handed down if our intent is to infringe press freedom. However, we allowed Ms. Ranada to continue performing her work assignments unimpeded, notwithstanding that trust with the news source had already been adversely affected, in the hope that this would be restored. We likewise gave Rappler ample time to avail of legal remedies. However, it became apparent that Rappler is more interested in spreading fake news, and as yesterday’s incident demonstrated, it would rather sensationalize the issue of non-entry in Malacanang rather than comply with the rules.
Let us be clear: The case of Rappler is not an attack on press freedom. Members of the media, including the Philippine Daily Inquirer, continue to be hard-hitting yet they can cover the activities of the President. Ms. Ranada’s accreditation, which would give her access to Palace activities, lies on Rappler’s accreditation. If Rappler wants to have direct coverage of certain events inside and outside Malacañang, it may apply for Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) accreditation.
Two things could have avoided Rappler’s present predicament: One, get a temporary restraining order. Two, be a Filipino corporation. Unfortunately, Rappler failed to obtain a TRO and failed to show that it is a Filipino entity.
We gave Rappler sufficient opportunity to rectify the infraction of ownership rules or obtain judicial relief, but instead of doing so it spent time and resources to foment false news and opted to twist the facts like it often does.
Peke na nga ang balita ng Rappler, peke pa rin ang pagiging Pilipino nila. Ayusin muna nila ang dalawang bagay na ito bago sila sumigaw ng kalayaan sa pamamahayag.