Rappler to file appeal on license revocation at CA

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 17) — Rappler is set to take its fight to the Court of Appeals.

The news agency has already begun the appeals process, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) spokesperson Armand Pan confirmed Wednesday. It sent the regulator a request for copies of its corporate filings last year and the January 11 en bank decision on its ownership, according to documents seen by CNN Philippines.

From there, Rappler is expected to file its petition straight to the Court of Appeals. ACCRA lawyer Francis Lim will represent the company.

Rappler will have until January 27 to appeal — 15 days after the issuance of the SEC’s decision when it becomes final and executory.

In what many media groups consider a blow to the free press, the SEC revoked Rappler's certificate of incorporation last week, accusing the news agency of circumventing constitutional restrictions on the foreign ownership of mass media companies.

Related: SEC cancels Rappler's license to do business

The online news site has since declared its intention to take the case to court. It maintained that its foreign investors do not exercise control over the company and decried the move as a form of media harassment.

However, Pan pointed out, rules of court state an appeal “shall not stay the award, judgment, final order or resolution sought to be reviewed unless the Court of Appeals shall direct otherwise upon such terms as it may deem just.”

This means the only way Rappler will be able to stop the SEC ruling is if the CA issues a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction.

If the CA is unable to act on Rappler's appeal by January 27, though, Pan said, “We will wait for CA’s action on Rappler’s appeal.”

SEC Chair Teresita Herbosa confirmed this in a text message, saying it “looks like” the regulator will wait for the CA’s final decision on the petition before making its move.

Until then, Rappler will be able to operate — unless the CA upholds the SEC’s ruling.

Rappler's anticipated move to court comes after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said he would look into possible criminal offenses by the news agency.