Philippine authorities on Tuesday affirmed a 2018 order to shut down Rappler, the news website co-founded by Nobel Peace Prize laureate Maria Ressa.
The media outlet had invited the wrath of President Rodrigo Duterte for its reports on his notorious “drug war,” which led to some 7,000 deaths. The Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued the ruling just two days before Duterte leaves office and late dictator’s son Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. takes over.
Ressa, who co-founded the site in 2012 and was named TIME’s Person of the Year in 2018, told reporters Wednesday that Rappler would continue doing “business as usual.” A day before, during a speech in the East-West Center in Honolulu, she said: “Part of the reason I didn’t have much sleep last night is because we essentially got a shutdown order.”
Legal counsel Francis Lim said they will challenge the order, but added the organization will comply with the court verdict: “It’s not the end of the world for us—there is still a very long process to go.”
Other news websites critical of the Duterte government were also ordered blocked last week for supposed links to terrorists.
The SEC in a statement says the ruling “merely puts in effect” the decision to revoke the operating license of Rappler, Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corporation over alleged violation of foreign ownership laws. The regulator accuses Rappler of allowing Omidyar Network—a foreign investment company…