On July 24, 2017 in his annual State of the Nation Address, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte claimed Rappler was owned by foreigners, repeating what a blogger incorrectly alleged last February. In succeeding weeks, he would repeat that claim, implying that Rappler is violating the Constititution.
This follows nearly a year of concerted social media attacks aimed to silence press coverage that holds government accountable for its words and actions.
This is Rappler's latest statement on the issue:
Repeated threats against news groups online and echoed by the most powerful man in the Philippines show a worrisome trend that threatens press freedom.
He continued to publicly question Rappler's ownership more than two weeks after he accused us of being foreign-owned during his State of the Nation Address (SONA). We honestly hope he is not setting the stage for a harassment suit against independent media, with Rappler as a first example.
All of Rappler’s corporate filings are publicly available. Like any startup digital company in the world, we are investing capital to grow. Anyone familiar with startups in Silicon Valley, Beijing, or Moscow would find this business as usual. We obtained this capital legally, selling shareholdings in the company to Filipinos, and raising capital through Philippine Depositary Receipts identical to instruments issued by leading media and telecom companies in the Philippines, aligned with the Constitution, and approved by the courts.
As our readers know, Rappler strives for independent journalism for the benefit of our country and our people. We hold ourselves to standards of transparency and accuracy that are also expected of people and sectors who profess to serve the public interest.
We trust that most Filipinos would like to see our country support innovative, civic-minded digital startups, just like China, the United States, Europe, Japan, and other developed countries.
Like most Filipinos, we’re dismayed at the misrepresentations, outward lies, and malice contained in criticisms of Rappler.
We don’t mind being criticized; we just ask that it be honest and factual. – Rappler.com
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