Rappler staff

Here for the long haul

Glenda Gloria
Here for the long haul

Its business as usual at the Rappler office in Pasig City, after the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a revocation order against the online news website, on June 29, 2022. Rappler

Rappler.com

What's going to happen to Rappler?

How’s Rappler? You’re still open, right?

It’s a question asked repeatedly of us since June 28, when the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) handed down its final decision reaffirming its January 2018 stand that we ought to be closed down for allegedly violating the Constitution. Over what? By doing what other Philippine media have done before us: issue financial instruments to foreign investors. 

The SEC had found problematic a clause that was afforded foreign investor Omidyar. But our lawyers argued that the clause was not even reflected in our articles of incorporation. To address what it called an “unwarranted ruling” and allow us “unhampered” operations, the philanthropic organization later donated its shares to Rappler’s Filipino managers. In July 2018, the Court of Appeals said that the donation appeared to have cured whatever defect the SEC found in Rappler’s incorporation and that the punishment of closure seemed harsh. It remanded the case to the SEC for review. Twice, the commission insisted on the validity of its closure order and ignored the effort to correct what it deemed to be defective.

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It is our view that the SEC’s order is not final and executory – and that this will take yet another long journey all the way up to the Supreme Court. It is our hope that the pendulum of justice would swing to what any Filipino company, especially one that is imbued with public interest such as Rappler, deserves: due process. It is our belief, backed by evidence, that due process was blatantly violated here.

Hello, again. I’m Glenda M. Gloria, executive editor of Rappler. As I started writing this yesterday, one of our reporters was in a glass-walled room in the newsroom interviewing one of our data nerds for his TikTok story about fake accounts. A few meters away, another reporter was covering a livestreamed event from his laptop. This scene definitely looked more professional than what was seen in the founders’ corner on June 29, when a fellow Manang, Chay Hofileña, and I were caught putting on lipstick and powder as we prepared for a “visit” from the SEC. (This got Happy Feraren so revved up that she asked our creatives team to do this artwork below.)

Art by DR Castuciano

This is not to make light of anything. In fact, in no time, yet another bad news from the courts was released: the Court of Appeals rejected on July 7 the appeal of Maria Ressa and former Rappler researcher Rey Santos Jr., who were previously convicted by a Manila court of cyber libel.

But similar to the SEC case, the rejected appeal can still be questioned all the way up to the Supreme Court. It’s a process that we will invest our time and resources in, because this is not just about Rappler; it’s about the resolve of journalists who should not be threatened nor be intimidated by forces out to silence critical voices.

Whatever the wishes of Pastor Quiboloy are, Maria and Rey are NOT going to jail. The owner of the propaganda outlet SMNI, Quiboloy, is wanted in the US for sex trafficking charges, charges that Rappler exposed in graphic detail in a series of stories last year. After this, Quiboloy’s followers filed in various cities in Mindanao more than a dozen libel complaints against our editors, reporters, and contributors. As of today, all those complaints had been DISMISSED for lack of merit. That has not stopped Quiboloy from wishing jail time for Maria, sharing his wish (or is that a prayer?) on SMNI’s social media accounts. 

Where do we draw the strength – mental, emotional, financial – to carry on? We draw it from you as well as from the communities, institutions, and individuals who have stayed with us all these years by making Rappler their go-to site, by joining our various webinars and training projects, by subscribing to our membership program, by donating any sum to help us do more investigative work, by calling out lies, and by recognizing the value of collaboration in this tough, tough world.

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Here are some of the fruits of your support:

A compelling body of work on disinformation.

A formidable coalition of truth-tellers and fact-checkers.

A persistent deep-dive into the burning issues of the day.

A diverse menu of voices and opinions.

A prolific multimedia team that churns out video, audio, animation.

We’re here for the long haul. And we look forward to yet another amazing journey as we tell the nation’s story and scrutinize power. With you. 

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