May 28, 2018, 1:16 am
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1 Philippine Peso = 0.06987 UAE Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 2.04394 Albanian Lek
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03405 Neth Antilles Guilder
1 Philippine Peso = 0.46707 Argentine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02507 Australian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03386 Aruba Florin
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03804 Barbados Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.58684 Bangladesh Taka
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03178 Bulgarian Lev
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00718 Bahraini Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 33.30759 Burundi Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bermuda Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02521 Brunei Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13049 Bolivian Boliviano
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06941 Brazilian Real
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Bahamian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2997 Bhutan Ngultrum
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18862 Botswana Pula
1 Philippine Peso = 380.82557 Belarus Ruble
1 Philippine Peso = 0.038 Belize Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02456 Canadian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01888 Swiss Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 11.92087 Chilean Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1215 Chinese Yuan
1 Philippine Peso = 54.23245 Colombian Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69241 Costa Rica Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Cuban Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 1.79018 Cape Verde Escudo
1 Philippine Peso = 0.41871 Czech Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 3.37645 Djibouti Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.12092 Danish Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 0.9416 Dominican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.20987 Algerian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25394 Estonian Kroon
1 Philippine Peso = 0.33993 Egyptian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.51779 Ethiopian Birr
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01623 Euro
1 Philippine Peso = 0.03907 Fiji Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 Falkland Islands Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01425 British Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08823 Ghanaian Cedi
1 Philippine Peso = 0.89024 Gambian Dalasi
1 Philippine Peso = 171.23835 Guinea Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.13955 Guatemala Quetzal
1 Philippine Peso = 3.93875 Guyana Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.14924 Hong Kong Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.45305 Honduras Lempira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.11993 Croatian Kuna
1 Philippine Peso = 1.23264 Haiti Gourde
1 Philippine Peso = 5.18261 Hungarian Forint
1 Philippine Peso = 268.49914 Indonesian Rupiah
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06761 Israeli Shekel
1 Philippine Peso = 1.28921 Indian Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 22.52235 Iraqi Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 800.64676 Iran Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 2.00476 Iceland Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 2.38368 Jamaican Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01348 Jordanian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 2.08195 Japanese Yen
1 Philippine Peso = 1.91839 Kenyan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 1.2975 Kyrgyzstan Som
1 Philippine Peso = 77.23036 Cambodia Riel
1 Philippine Peso = 7.96595 Comoros Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 17.12003 North Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 20.46376 Korean Won
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00575 Kuwaiti Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0156 Cayman Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.24805 Kazakhstan Tenge
1 Philippine Peso = 158.41735 Lao Kip
1 Philippine Peso = 28.6285 Lebanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 3.00552 Sri Lanka Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 2.59102 Liberian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23569 Lesotho Loti
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05799 Lithuanian Lita
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0118 Latvian Lat
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02586 Libyan Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.18008 Moroccan Dirham
1 Philippine Peso = 0.31929 Moldovan Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.99391 Macedonian Denar
1 Philippine Peso = 25.77516 Myanmar Kyat
1 Philippine Peso = 45.76412 Mongolian Tugrik
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15373 Macau Pataca
1 Philippine Peso = 6.73388 Mauritania Ougulya
1 Philippine Peso = 0.65627 Mauritius Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.29618 Maldives Rufiyaa
1 Philippine Peso = 13.63553 Malawi Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 0.37196 Mexican Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07566 Malaysian Ringgit
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23683 Namibian Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 6.82899 Nigerian Naira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.59717 Nicaragua Cordoba
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15404 Norwegian Krone
1 Philippine Peso = 2.06962 Nepalese Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02745 New Zealand Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.00732 Omani Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 Panama Balboa
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0621 Peruvian Nuevo Sol
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06201 Papua New Guinea Kina
1 Philippine Peso = 1 Philippine Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 2.19897 Pakistani Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06975 Polish Zloty
1 Philippine Peso = 108.10348 Paraguayan Guarani
1 Philippine Peso = 0.06924 Qatar Rial
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0751 Romanian New Leu
1 Philippine Peso = 1.17631 Russian Rouble
1 Philippine Peso = 16.13468 Rwanda Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 0.07134 Saudi Arabian Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.15092 Solomon Islands Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.25547 Seychelles Rupee
1 Philippine Peso = 0.34155 Sudanese Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16566 Swedish Krona
1 Philippine Peso = 0.02546 Singapore Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01422 St Helena Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.42241 Slovak Koruna
1 Philippine Peso = 149.32471 Sierra Leone Leone
1 Philippine Peso = 10.69051 Somali Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 397.78391 Sao Tome Dobra
1 Philippine Peso = 0.16644 El Salvador Colon
1 Philippine Peso = 9.79608 Syrian Pound
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23678 Swaziland Lilageni
1 Philippine Peso = 0.60662 Thai Baht
1 Philippine Peso = 0.0483 Tunisian Dinar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04363 Tongan paʻanga
1 Philippine Peso = 0.08961 Turkish Lira
1 Philippine Peso = 0.1286 Trinidad Tobago Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.56886 Taiwan Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 43.27563 Tanzanian Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.49705 Ukraine Hryvnia
1 Philippine Peso = 71.0291 Ugandan Shilling
1 Philippine Peso = 0.01902 United States Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 0.5933 Uruguayan New Peso
1 Philippine Peso = 151.83565 Uzbekistan Sum
1 Philippine Peso = 1494.25528 Venezuelan Bolivar
1 Philippine Peso = 433.30797 Vietnam Dong
1 Philippine Peso = 2.03595 Vanuatu Vatu
1 Philippine Peso = 0.04914 Samoa Tala
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BEAC)
1 Philippine Peso = 0.05136 East Caribbean Dollar
1 Philippine Peso = 10.63667 CFA Franc (BCEAO)
1 Philippine Peso = 1.926 Pacific Franc
1 Philippine Peso = 4.75366 Yemen Riyal
1 Philippine Peso = 0.23681 South African Rand
1 Philippine Peso = 98.716 Zambian Kwacha
1 Philippine Peso = 6.88415 Zimbabwe dollar

The SEC case against Rappler

HARSH and with horrifying implications on the full and untrammeled exercise of press freedom.

That is the least that could be said of the decision of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) en banc to revoke the certificate of incorporation of Rappler, a digital media company with a creditable record of independent reportage and social engagement on public policy issues.

The SEC -- as it had ruled on similar cases concerning The Nationality Rule, The Control Test, or The Grandfather Rule on foreign investments in prohibited sectors -- could have been less harsh. It could have imposed penalties or fines, or ordered Rappler to amend its papers or unload its foreign investments. The SEC did not. Hence, the journalism that Rappler typifies is now in serious peril.

Was the harshest penalty of revocation of license warranted in this case? The Constitutional guarantee of freedom of the press could have prevailed over the Constitutional prohibition on foreign ownership of media corporations, if the latter indeed is an issue with Rappler. 

A few years ago, the SEC had shown inexplicable leniency toward telecommunications giant PLDT, or Philippine Long Distance & Telephone Co., that was investigated for supposedly skirting the Constitutional rule on 60% Filipino vis 40% foreign ownership of public utilities. The SEC did not order PLDT’s dissolution on the pretext that doing so would impair telco service delivery by PLDT. 

Today, however, the SEC seem to have glossed over the fact that the harshest penalty of revoking the corporate registration of the Rappler would have impaired its delivery of news and information on matters of public concern, or even the Constitutional guarantees of press freedom and the people’s right to know.

The contrast is clear.  The SEC’s Memorandum Circular No. 8, Series of 2013, or the “Guidelines on Compliance with the Filipino-Foreign Ownership Requirements” had been criticized in a petition filed with the Supreme Court to have “tailor-made” the rules to allow PLDT to skirt the law limiting foreign ownership of public utilities.

Section 2 of MC No. 8-2013 states that to determine compliance with the Constitutional or statutory requirement on 60 percent Filipino ownership of covered entities, “the required percentage of Filipino ownership shall be applied to BOTH (a) the total number of outstanding shares of stock entitled to vote in the election of directors; AND (b) the total number of outstanding shares of stock, whether or not entitled to vote in the election of directors.”

Earlier, in separate rulings in 2011 and 2012, the high court had precisely ruled that to determine a covered company’s “capital” requirement, the SEC must treat shareholders of stocks entitled to vote and those not entitled to vote company directors as separate classes.

In its decision on Rappler, the SEC has morphed from lenient to severe.

Rappler’s journalists have pledged to continue to write and report without fear or favour, and we can offer them our unrelenting support.

But Rappler’s existence remains challenged by outstanding issues about its foreign investments that the SEC decision has raised. Indeed, beyond the sphere of journalism, the Rappler story will move next to the sphere of the courts and judicial processes.

The case will soon reach the Court of Appeals, where Rappler said it plans to challenge the SEC decision in the next fortnight. The case will move as well to the Department of Justice, where the SEC decision has been referred for investigation into possible violations by Rappler of the Anti-Dummy Law.

The 29-page SEC decision found that when Rappler Holdings Corp. (which owns Rappler, Inc.) issued Philippine Depositary Receipts to Omidyar Network in 2015, it signed on to an agreement with a provision that supposedly allowed control of Rappler by a foreign group. 

This “negative control” provision, the SEC noted, binds Rappler Holdings “not to, without prior good faith discussion with ON PDR Holders and without the approval of PDR Holders holding at least two thirds (2/3s) of all issued and outstanding PDRs, alter, modify or other change the Company Articles of Incorporation or By-Laws or take any other action where such alteration, modification, change or action will prejudice the rights in relation to ON PDRs.”

It is a provision, according to the SEC, that violates the  Foreign Equity Restrictions in the Mass Media that the Constitution prescribes because “the stockholders must have prior discussion with and approval of at least 2/3 of the PDR Holders, meaning Rappler is at the very least under obligation to consult with Omidyar Network. The stockholder has become, in effect, subservient to the holder. It is neither 100% control by the Filipino stockholders, nor is it 0% control by the foreigner PDR holders.”

In its verified compliance response to SEC, Rappler said that it did not violate the Constitution because its common shareholders, officers, and managers are Filipino citizens. 

To be sure, the Rappler story is still in progress, and we must continue monitoring it. For one, the  SEC decision involved an administrative matter. Soon, the DOJ investigation will focus on supposed criminal breach/es of the law, and thus portend more tragic implications for Rappler.

The political context of this story cannot be ignored. It is happening amid the internecine outbursts of displeasure and vitriol by President Rodrigo R. Duterte and his closest allies against Rappler, the Philippine Daily Inquirer, ABS-CBN, and generally journalists and media entities on the independent and critical reporting track.

Regulators and the courts would do well to deal with allegations of legal infractions by the media with utmost fairness, probity, and independence so they do not undermine further the Constitutionally guaranteed freedom of the press and the people’s right to know, or worse, put the media now under duress in greater jeopardy and undue censure.

Rappler and all independent media agencies must live to write for many more days and years, and outlast all the enemies of truth, good governance, and justice in this land.

We must not let our guard down. Yet even better, we must all keep watch over the next events that would unfold. – PCIJ
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