Rappler sued for violating anti-dummy law in Pasig court

Credit to Author: kadraneda| Date: Wed, 27 Mar 2019 11:07:29 +0000

MANILA, Philippines — Another criminal complaint has been filed against Rappler CEO Maria Ressa and other officials of the news website.

The Pasig Prosecutor filed a case against Rappler executives for violations of Commonwealth Act No. 108 or the Anti-Dummy Law and Securities Regulations Code (SRC) last Tuesday.

Named as respondents in the case filed before the Pasig Regional Trial Court (RTC) are Ressa, Manuel Ayala, Nico Jose Nolledo, Glenda Gloria, James Bitanga, Felicia Atienza, and James Velasquez.

Pasig RTC Branch 265 under Judge Acerey Pacheco set the arraignment on April 10 after all accused, except Ressa, appeared before the court on Wednesday and posted bail amounting to P90,000 each, ahead of the issuance of their warrants of arrest.


Ressa is currently out of the country.

The case was filed after prosecutors found probable cause in the complaint filed last year by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

The prosecutor’s office alleged that respondents “willfully, unlawfully and feloniously authorize, negotiate, transact, enter into a contract and issue its 7,217,257 PDRs to Omidyar Network Fund, LCC, a foreign corporation not allowed/proscribed by the Constitution or the laws of the Philippines to acquire or use the same, thereby allowing… Omidyar to… intervene in the management, operation, administration or control of Rappler.”

The anti-dummy law prohibits foreigners from intervening in any “nationalized activity” such as the operation of a media company, which should have 100 percent Filipino control as mandated under the 1987 Constitution. Violators could face imprisonment for a minimum period of five years and maximum of 15.

Rappler has been under fire for allegedly violating the Constitutional requirement on foreign ownership. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revoked its business registration for violating the constitutional cap on foreign ownership.

Ressa has been previously indicted in separate tax evasion and cyber libel cases. The cases are now pending in various courts. /kga