MANILA: Philippine authorities opened on Thursday a fresh line of attack against a news outlet that has angered President Rodrigo Duterte, after the website’s investors moved to block a separate government effort to shut it down, reports AFP.
The nation’s tax authority said it filed criminal charges against Rappler, which has been critical of Duterte’s deadly war on drugs, alleging the site failed to pay taxes on bonds it sold in 2015.
The government’s move comes just over a week after Silicon Valley investment firm Omidyar Network said it was transferring its roughly $1.5-million investment in Rappler to the site’s local managers to stave off Duterte’s effort to shut it down.
The investment is at the heart of a case that led to the Philippines’ corporate watchdog to void the news site’s corporate license in January, saying it violated a law against non-Filipinos owning any share of local media entities. Rappler has appealed.