FACT-CHECKERS across the globe under the auspices of the International Fact-Checking Network (IFCN) have condemned the decision of the Philippine government to revoke Rappler’s ability to operate in the country.
The Philippine government had ordered that Rappler, a news platform co-founded by Maria Ressa, a Nobel Peace Prize laureate, be shut down, saying it violated foreign ownership rules.
The IFCN, in a statement signed by nearly 70 fact-checking organizations from 55 countries, said the decision is an attempt to silence press coverage in the Philippines.
“It is disappointing to see that the Philippines Securities and Exchange Commission affirmed its earlier decision to revoke the certificates of incorporation of Rappler Inc. and Rappler Holdings Corporation, effectively prohibiting Rappler from operating in the country,” it reads.
The IFCN stated that it is outrageous and disgraceful that the immediate-past administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, in the final days of his presidency would attempt to shut down one of the largest publications in the Philippines.
“Rappler has a storied history of showcasing corruption and wrongdoing on the part of powerful people in the Philippines. Through this lens, the legal action against Rappler can and should be viewed as retaliation,” it added.
The IFCN said it is dedicated to supporting press freedom and fact-checkers globally, adding that Rappler deserves to continue publishing and hold power and the government accountable without the threat of reprisal.
“The precedent set by revoking Rappler’s ability to operate in the Philippines is alarming to fact-checkers and journalists worldwide who work every day to bring truth to the public, in democracies and repressive governments alike,” it stated.