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MANILA, Philippines – The Court of Appeals (CA) denied Rappler’s petition for review and agreed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) that the company’s issuance of Philippine Depositary Receipts (PDRs) “is tantamount to some foreign control”, but said it must be given “reasonable time” to make the necessary corrections.
The CA told the SEC that revocation of license must be the last resort, and that Rappler must be given time “to correct or modify the objectionable portions of their articles of incorporation or amendment.”
The CA also found merit in Rappler’s argument that it had showed good faith in complying with the SEC when foreign investor Omidyar waived its PDRs and donated them to Rappler’s Filipino managers. (READ: FAQs: Rappler SEC case)
“The Securities and Exchange Commission is hereby directed to conduct an evaluation of the legal effect of the alleged supervening donation made by Omidyar Network of all its Philippine Depositary Receipts to the Staff of Rappler Inc. Accordingly, the case is hereby remanded to the Securities and Exchange Commission for this purpose,” the CA said in the dispositive portion of the decision.
In effect, as explained by Rappler lawyer Francis Lim, this means that the SEC decision “cannot be enforced or implemented until the issue is finally decided.” Rappler continues to operate.
The CA decision came out one year after Duterte’s 2017 State of the Nation Address, when he first publicly accused Rappler of being American-owned.
Read the full decision here: