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PETITIONERS DID NOT VIOLATE SECTION 11 (1) OF


ARTICLE XVI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION
BECAUSE OMIDYAR NEVER EXERCISED ANY
CONTROL OF WHATEVER NATURE OVER RAPPLER
AT ANY TIME, AND THIS PROVISION DOES NOT
APPLY TO THEM.

PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 1018 ("PD 1018"), THE ONLY


LAW THAT PROVIDES FOR THE DEFINITION OF “MASS MEDIA”
AS PRINT AND BROADCAST ONLY. RAPPLER IS NOT
ENGAGED IN PRINT OR BORADCAST MEDIA, THUS IT CANNOT
BE HELD LIABLE FOR VIOLATION OF SECTION 11 (1) OF
ARTICLE XVI OF THE 1987 CONSTITUTION. MOVEOVER,
NEITHER THE LAW NOR JURISPRUDENCE FINDS THE
APPLICATION OF THE DEFINITION OF MASS MEDIA UNDER
THE TOBACCO REGULATION ACT OF 2003 WHICH DOES NOT
INTERPRET, IMPLEMENT, AND SUNCTION A VIOLATION OF,
SECTION 11 (1) OF ARTICLE XVI OF THE CONSTITUTION.

Section 11(1), Article XVI of the 1987 Constitution provides:

Section 11 (1). The ownership and management of mass media


shall be limited to citizens of the Philippines, or to corporations,
cooperatives or associations, wholly-owned and managed by such
citizens.

The Congress shall regulate or prohibit monopolies in commercial


mass media when the public interest so requires. No combinations in
restraint of trade or unfair competition therein shall be allowed.
Petitioners respectfully submit that the above provision of the
constitution restricts foreigners from owning or managing print and
broadcast media. As petitioners are not engaged in such print and
broadcast media, they are not covered and consequently not liable
under this provision.

This Honorable Court ruled that:

“Adopting the statutory definition of mass media


under PD No. 1018, Rappler would not be considered as a
mass media entity because it is neither into print media
nor broadcast media. On the other hand, adopting the
statutory definition of mass media under RA No. 9211,
Rappler would be considered as a mass media entity.

In any case, Rappler cannot credibly claim that it is not


engaged in the business of mass media through its own
actions and actuations.” 1

Rappler concede that for them to be held liable for violation of


Section 11 (1) of Article XVI of the 1987 Constitution, they must be
engaged in print and broadcast media.

First. The definition of “Mass Media” as provided under


PD 1018 is clear and plain and there should be no other
interpretation when applying Section 11 (1) of Article XVI of the
1987 Constitution.

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Decision, 26 July 2018, p. 22.
Second. Republic Act No. 9211 (“RA 9211”),
otherwise known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 (“Tobacco
Regulation Act”) does not interpret, implement and sanction the
violation of Section 11 (1) of Article XVI of the 1987 Constitution.

Section 3 of RA 92112 provides for its clear purpose and this


has nothing to do with the implementation of Section 11 (1) of
Article XVI of the 1987 Constitution.

Moreover, Section 4 of RA 9122 provides for the definition of


Mass Media which was expanded to include electronic media, thus:

Section 4. Definition of Terms - As used in this Act:

xxx

f. "Mass Media" - refers to any medium of communication


designed to reach a mass of people. For this purposes, mass media
includes print media such as, but not limited to, newspapers, magazines,
and publications; broadcast media such as, but not limited to, radio,
television, cable television, and cinema; electronic media such as but not
limited to the internet;

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SECTION 3. Purpose.—It is the main thrust of this Act to:
a. Promote a healthful environment;
b. Inform the public of the health risks associated with cigarette smoking and tobacco use;
c. Regulate and subsequently ban all tobacco advertisements and sponsorships;
d. Regulate the labeling of tobacco products;
e. Protect the youth from being initiated to cigarette smoking and tobacco use by prohibiting the sale of tobacco
products to minors;
f. Assist and encourage Filipino tobacco farmers to cultivate alternative agricultural crops to prevent economic
dislocation; and
g. Create an Inter-Agency Committee on Tobacco (IAC-Tobacco) to oversee the implementation of the provisions
of this Act.
Other than in Section 4 of RA 9211 on the definition used in
the Act, the term “Mass Media” is only found in Section 14 (a) and
Section 22 of RA 9211, which provides that:

SECTION 14. Warnings in Advertising.—Under this Act:

a. All tobacco advertising in mass media shall contain either in English or


Filipino, the following health warning: “GOVERNMENT WARNING:
Cigarette Smoking is Dangerous to Your Health.”

SECTION 22. Ban on Advertisements.—Beginning 1 January 2007, all tobacco


advertising on television, cable television and radio shall be prohibited.

Beginning 1 July 2007, all cinema and outdoor advertising shall be prohibited. No
leaflets, posters and similar outdoor advertising materials may be posted, except
inside the premises of point-of-sale retail establishments.

Beginning 1 July 2008, all forms of tobacco advertising in mass media shall be
prohibited except tobacco advertisements placed inside the premises of point-of-
sale retail establishments.

There is no showing, whatsoever that Petitioners was engaged in any


acts provided in RA 9211 to warrant the application of the said law.

On the other hand, this Honorable Court found that the SWC Special
Panel issued Petitioners a Show Cause Order on August 1, 2017, which
reads as follows: 3

“You are directed to show cause and submit your sworn


statement/explanation within fifteen days (15) from receipt , as to why you
should not be held liable for violation of the Foreign Equity Restrictions
enshrined in Article XVI, Section 11(1) of the Constitution (in relation to
Article II, Section 19 thereof) and enforceable through Section 2 of
Presidential Decree 1018, Limiting the Ownership and Management of Mass
Media to Citizens of the Philippines (in relation to the sanctions under Section 6(i)
of Presidential Decree 902-A, as amended, and Section 5.1(f) of the Securities
Regulation Code), Section 1 of Commonwealth Act 108, aka The AntiDummy Act
(in relation to the sanction under Section 6(i) of Presidential Decree 902-A, as
amended, and Section 5.1(f) of the Securities Regulation Code), and Section 7 in
relation to Section 14 of Republic Act 7042, The Foreign Investments Act of
1991, as amended.”

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Decision, 26 July 2018, p. 6.
Nowhere in the above Show Cause Order state the Petitioner
are required to explain why they should not be held liable for
violating the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003. Therefore, contrary to
the law and fairness to apply the definition of “Mass Media” found in
the said Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003 and to disregard the
definition of “Mass Media” found in PD 1018 in the case of the
Petitioner.

Third. Petitioners have consistently claimed that Rappler


is not engaged in print or broadcast media, the businesses
regulated under Section 11 (1) of article XVI of the 1987
Constitution.

This Honorable Court’s ruling that Rappler is engaged in the


business of Mass Media is premised on the finding the “…Rappler
cannot credibly claim that it is not engaged in the business of mass
media through its own actions and actuations”. 4
In rendering this
ruling, this Honorable court appears to have applied the generic
definition of mass media and not the one found in PD 1018, which
specifically enforces, Section 11 (1) of Article XVI of the 1987
Constitution.

As previously discussed, the definition of “Mass Media” as


found in PD 1018, which only pertains to print and broadcast media,
should apply to Petitioners. The actuations of Petitioners cannot
possibly confirm that Rappler is engaged in print or broadcast

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Decision, 26 July 2018, p. 22.
media, the definition referred to under Section 11 (1) of Article XVI
of the 1987 Constitution.

When Rappler “…characterized itself as an ‘all-digital news


organization’ and ‘online news site’ that ‘merges traditional
television broadcasting with the internet’ and ‘combines the
decipline and credibility of traditional print and TV journalist’ so that
it can ‘join broadcasting network giants”, it actually showed that it
was engaged in a business different from print or broadcast. In fact,
emphasis was placed on the fact that its news organization is “all-
digital” and through the “internet”.

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Further, in the case of Rappler, inc. v. Bautista, the
Supreme Court was not called upon to make a determination of
whether Rappler is covered by the Constitutional provision on the
mass media. The issue in that case involves whether, by virtue, not
of a provision of law, but a clause in the Memorandum of
Agreement between Rappler and the Constitution on Elections,
rappler should also be given equal opportunity to broadcast the
debates online even if it was not engaged in print or broadcast
media. Thus, this case actually bolsters Petitions’ position that
Rappler’s business is different the business of media entities
engaged on print or broadcast media.

Clearly, the actuations of Petitioners do not show that they are


in the business of print or broadcast media, and therefore, they

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G.R. No. 222702, 5 April 2016, 788 SCRA 442
could not have violated Section 11 (1) of Article XVI of the 1987
Constitution.