press freedom

Hillary Clinton, int’l groups show support for Rappler amid shutdown order

Jairo Bolledo

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Hillary Clinton, int’l groups show support for Rappler amid shutdown order

SUPPORT. Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expresses support for Nobel laureate Maria Ressa and Rappler.

Hillary Clinton/ Instagram

Clinton says: 'Shutting the site down would be a grave disservice to the country and its people'
Hillary Clinton, int’l groups show support for Rappler amid shutdown order

MANILA, Philippines – Former United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stood behind Rappler following the recent shutdown order of the Philippines’ Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). 

In a tweet, Clinton said shutting down Rappler is a disservice to the Philippines. 

“The people of the Philippines deserve sources of news and information that will tell them the truth. Rappler, and Maria Ressa, tell the truth,” Clinton said. “Shutting the site down would be a grave disservice to the country and its people.”

On June 28, two days before Rodrigo Duterte was to step down from the presidency, the SEC reaffirmed its decision to revoke Rappler’s certificate of incorporation. In the last six years, Duterte launched attacks against Rappler – even banning the newsroom from covering him since 2018.

The Committee to Protect to Journalists (CPJ), an international nonprofit organization promoting press freedom worldwide, also issued a statement in support for Rappler. Shawn Crispin, CPJ’s senior Southeast Asia representative, urged the Philippine government to reverse its order against Rappler and other critical news organizations in the Philippines.

“Philippine authorities must reverse their order to close Rappler and to block access to independent news websites Bulatalat and Pinoy Weekly, and cease fabricating spurious reasons to suppress the free press,” Crispin said. “We strongly urge President-elect Ferdinand Marcos Jr. to reverse the outgoing Duterte government’s abysmal press freedom record.”   

Global network of media workers and journalists, International Press Institute (IPI), expressed outrage over the Duterte government’s last blow against the newsroom being ran by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa. According to IPI deputy director Scott Griffen, SEC’s latest decision is a serious violation of press freedom.

“The Philippine’s decision to shut down Rappler is a flagrant attempt to silence a critical media outlet and a serious violation of press freedom, which has rapidly eroded under the Duterte administration.”

Khadija Patel, IPI executive board chair, said the attack is a testimony to Duterte’s harassment of the press.

“This decision is deplorable and is testimony to the legacy of an administration that has actively impeded press freedom throughout. As we call for this order to be overturned, we also call on the newly elected president to uphold the rule of law when it comes to news media in the country and stop harassment of critical journalists,” Patel said.

International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) also expressed its frustration over the SEC’s decision and even mentioned the Philippines’ poor ranking in the press freedom index. The Philippines ranked 147th out of 180 countries in the 2022 Reporters Without Borders ranking.

“The Philippines currently ranks 147th out of 180 countries on the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index. For a free news media to operate in the country, this state-sanctioned harassment and violence must end,” the IWMF said.

“We call on the PSEC to reverse this decision and allow Rappler to continue its work freely, and join the global press freedom community to hold the line in support for Rappler and Ressa.”

Another nonprofit organization for women journalists, Coalition for Women in Journalism (CFWIJ), hit back at the Philippine government and said “authoritarian regimes” could not evade accountability by using the law.

“Philippine govt’s constant attacks on @mariaressa & her team at @rapplerdotcom are aimed at silencing critical voices everywhere. Authoritarian regimes cannot be allowed to evade accountability by abusing law to justify their onslaught on press freedom,” the CFWIJ said.

International groups PEN America and ARTICLE 19 also stood behind Rappler by posting statements of support for the newsroom.


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Jairo Bolledo

Jairo Bolledo is a multimedia reporter at Rappler covering justice, police, and crime.