MANILA, Philippines — The National Bureau of Investigation summoned Rappler CEO Maria Ressa with a subpoena in relation to a complaint by a businessman over the media outfit’s report five years ago about an expensive vehicle that was allegedly lent to late former chief justice Renato Corona.
The subpoenas signed by NBI Deputy Director for Intelligence Service Vicente de Guzman and were issued by the office’s Cybercrime Division, also ordered former Rappler reporter Reynaldo Santos Jr. and businessman Benjamin Bitanga, an incorporator of Dolphin Fire, which is a shareholder of Rappler Holdings, to appear with Ressa before the bureau on January 22.
The subpoena is in connection with the complaint filed by businessman Wilfredo Keng, accusing the respondents of allegedly violating the Anti-Cybercrime Law.
Rappler reported that Keng had allegedly lent his black suburban SUV to Corona in 2012, which the latter allegedly used in coming in and going out of the Supreme Court at the time when the impeachment trial against the then top magistrate was about to be concluded.
The subpoenas were all signed last January 10, a day before Rappler’s corporate registration was revoked by the Securities and Exchange Commission.