Secretary Romulo-Puyat must disclose details
NO wonder the online newsite Rappler managed to survive since its establishment in 2012 despite its huge expenses on expensive internet technology, in order to rank high in Google searches, among other aims, which couldn’t be recovered through advertising revenues.
No wonder it has been so much a tool of the past regime of Benigno Aquino 3rd, that it was even at the head of the pack that lynched Chief Justice Renato Corona, and now so vociferously anti-Duterte that it has been grossly exaggerating the number of people killed in the wake of the President’s anti-drug war.
According to documents and claims by very reliable sources, Rappler received as much as P40 million from 2014 to mid-2016 from government agencies in the form of dubious consultancies, “intelligence services,” and advertising revenues.
Call a spade a spade: Rappler has been the Aquino regime’s paid media.
Rappler allegedly badgered Aquino for the funding when its main stockholder Benjamin Bitanga started to distance himself from the outfit mid-2014, after putting about P50 million into the firm. Rappler, however, got about P100 million in funding in late 2015 from US outfits Omidyar and North Base Media. But that got it into serious legal trouble since foreigners are totally banned from media under our Constitution.
Documents made public recently showed that Aquino’s tourism secretary Ramon Jimenez signed a contract with Rappler (represented by its sales manager Carla Yap Sy Su) on August 28, 2014 for the tourism department to pay the outfit P9.6 million for just three months of service.
Anyone familiar with internet consultancy—or any kind of consultancy services—would be shocked how generous Jimenez was and at how anomalous the contract was.
In just a month and a half after the contract was signed, on October 15, Rappler was paid P3.2 million. The output? A vague “tourism intelligence report” and “launch of microsite and crowdsource platform for 1st city.”
After another month and a half, on November 31, 2014, Rappler was paid another P3.2 million for “2nd intelligence report” and “launch of microsite and crowdsource platform for 2nd city.” And then on December 31—in time to celebrate the New Year— another P3.2 million for similar mysterious reports. C’mon, do you know of any outfit that works so feverishly as to complete a report through December? (more…)