MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Commission on Elections (Comelec) abruptly suspended its partnership with the news website Rappler on Tuesday, March 8.
Acting Comelec Chairperson Socorro B. Inting stated yesterday, March 7, that the poll body will respond to the petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to defend Comelec’s forged partnership with Rappler.
After being given a deadline by OSG to end the partnership with the news website, Inting emphasized Comelec’s independence as a constitutional body.
Comelec Spokesperson James B. Jimenez also defended the partnership with Rappler by saying the issue on its alleged foreign ownership is still “on status quo.”
“Given the allegations against Rappler and the subsequent filing of the Petition with the Supreme Court, it is judicious for the Commission to hold in abeyance the implementation of the provisions of the MOA until the issues are settled and/or decision of the court is rendered,” the memorandum signed by Inting stated.
“All actions in connection with the MOA shall be deferred, including coordination between the Commission and Rappler on matters of the MOA.”
On Monday, March 7, the OSG petitioned the Supreme Court, requesting that Comelec and Rappler’s partnership be declared null and void.
On February 24, Comelec signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rappler in an effort to combat disinformation and increase voter awareness during the election season.
The National Press Club Ior NPC was the first to oppose the partnership, claiming that it is “unacceptable to most Filipinos.”