SEC order vs Rappler ‘too severe’ a punishment, says former PSE president
Top-notch corporate lawyer and former Philippine Stock Exchange president Francis Lim thinks the Securities and Exchange Commission’s order revoking online news site Rappler Inc.’s registration certificate is too harsh.
The Commission en banc scrapped Rappler’s license to do business for allegedly violating constitutional prohibitions against foreign ownership and management of mass media when it gave a foreign company the right to participate in the media outfit’s management.
“Assuming there is any violation, the penalty is grossly disproportionate to the alleged violation,” said ACCRA lawyer Francis Lim, who served as PSE president from 2004 to 2010.
The SEC, however, stands firm in its decision, saying it is merely doing its job.
In its order, the SEC said Rappler issued Philippine Depository Receipts to Omidyar Network Fund LLC that gave the foreign firm a say on any decisions regarding its articles of incorporation.
SEC pointed out that the law is clear. Media organizations should be 100 percent owned by Filipinos.
Lim, however, said ” the SEC should have given the issuer of the PDRs (Rappler Holdings) time to cure the violation. It did the same under memorandum circular no. 8 series of 2013, where it gave companies that were not compliant with the nationality requirement of one year to cure the violation.”