The media environment in the Philippines is increasingly restricted, and the political culture seems to intend to close it further; a ranking member of the House of Representatives proposed revising the constitution to grant only a right to the ‘responsible exercise’ of freedom of speech.
Duterte’s government used administrative tools to force the closure of online news outlet Rappler, whose license was revoked in January on the grounds that it had breached ‘foreign ownership’ regulations. In November, Rappler was indicted on tax charges and a warrant issued for its President, Maria Ressa, who managed to post bail. Various state institutions orchestrated harassment of, and a spate of prosecutions against, Rappler – seemingly due to its persistence in exposing human rights violations. President Duterte even specifically mentioned the outlet in his speeches, accusing it of being US-owned and spreading ‘fake news’.
 Mong Palatino, ‘Asia-Pacific welcomes the new year – with declining freedom’, IFEX, 2 February 2018, available at https://ifex.org/asia-pacific-welcomes-the-new-year-with-declining-freedom/
 IFEX, #StandWithRappler: Philippines Revokes License of News Group Critical of Duterte, 16 January 2018, available at https://ifex.org/standwithrappler-philippines-revokes-license-of-news-group-critical-of-duterte/
 Lian Buan, ‘DOJ indicts Rappler Holdings, Maria Ressa for tax evasion’, Rappler, 9 November 2019, available at https://www.rappler.com/nation/216337-doj-indicts-rappler-holdings-tax-evasion-november-9-2018