GET REAL POST
We beg to differ.


Indeed, it’s been one of Philippine Media’s greatest non-mysteries: the question of who owns “social news network” (pa)hipster news site Rappler.com. According to Rappler CEO Maria Ressa, all the answers to that question are in their sanitised About page which features a list of its illustrious Board members. But ever since a quick-and-dirty exposé (actually, more of a quickie dissection) by media watchdog Spin Busters of what is now an evidently glaring ommission of disclosure in the Rappler money trail, questions have been raised and defensive responses fielded by Ressa over the identities of the “40something couple who want to remain anonymous” behind the shady holding company DMT Ice Angels who own 16.67 percent of “God’s Gift” to Pinoy journalism.

The Spin Busters report tables a simple question, “Who owns Rappler?” and notes…

Documents show ex-CNN reporter Maria Ressa owning 27.4% of Rappler, Inc. Combined, colleagues Marites Vitug, Chay Hofilena, and Glenda Gloria own 6.66%. (It’s their share of the pie, not the mark of the beast.)

The other significant owners are Filipino holding companies. Cappadocia, Inc. owns 29.27% while Dolphin Fire Group, Inc. owns 20%. No huge surprises there since the people behind these firms sit on the board of Rappler.

…but then:

There’s just one thing. A big shareholder, DMT Ice Angels Holdings, Inc., a company with a Makati address, is as puzzling as its corporate name. It owns 16.67% of Rappler.

dmt_ice_angels_holdings_inc

If no specific person represents the interests of DMT Ice Angels on the Board of Rappler, then perhaps one can conclude that one or a number of the current sitting and disclosed Board members does. Who could that person be? Considering that it was Ressa herself who quickly confirmed in a tweet that the said 40-something couple are the shadowy figures behind this holding company, it is a reasonably worthwhile exercise to speculate on how much of the couple’s personal interests the Rappler CEO looks out for during their Board meetings.

To be fair, Rappler is a privately-held company. So it is entitled to the opaqueness of its gravy train. Every Filipino is entitled to such privacy under the Philippines’ infamous bank secrecy laws after all, right Ms Ressa? There is hope, however, for all the cats out there being killed by St. Curiosity (last I heard, the patron saint of real journalists). Cosmologists infer the properties of black holes (massive celestial bodies that suck everything out of the universe, including light itself) by observing the behaviour of neighbouring objects. So far there is enough circumstantial information surrounding “God’s Gift to Pinoy Journalism” to make certain inferences.

The fun part is in connecting the dots. But that need not be an urgent goal. Political exercises (like elections and impeachment trials) have the interesting effect of teasing out the real characters and real agendas of self-appointed “thought leaders” and moral beacons.

So like Rappler’s partner-in-crime ABS-CBN, we can only say for now:

Abangan ang susunod na kabanata…

benign0

benign0 is the Webmaster of GetRealPhilippines.com.

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15 Comments

  • Jose Gracia says:

    If Marites Vitug is there, an agenda goes with it.

  • jcc says:

    i have been following rappler, but lately its contents are dry and bland.. rarely goes there anymore.

    • Ilda says:

      They are not as exciting and informative as GRP. ;)

      Blogsites usually become “dry” and “bland” when it’s being sponsored by someone with an agenda ;)

    • Johnny Derp says:

      Rappler is going down, there is no doubt about their impending downfall. Same goes for aquino’s presidency. I really doubt that aquino would survive till 2016 judging from his shitty performance which the yellow media and malacanang trolls are so desperate to hide.

  • Justice says:

    Disclosure: I used to work in ANC.

    I used to watch Maria Ressa on CNN back in the days. You can imagine how happy I was when I heard that she was coming on board as a News Consultant to ABS-CBN to give our news organization the overhaul that it needed. Her ideas were fresh and her positive vibe was infectious. I was glad that Maria came on board. Many controversies hounded Maria during her tenure, but there were two controversial moves that haunted her the most.

    1. When she fired 35 people. (Frankly, the 35 people she axed needed to go.)

    2. When she had an affair with the Producer, Lilibeth Frondoso while she was in a long time relationship with another woman.

    Frankly, it’s really none of our business who Maria goes out with. It’s not really the fact that Maria Ressa is a Lesbian that shocked us, after all that was in 2005. We were a progressive bunch and a lot of our news reporters were out and Gay that we loved dearly.

    No, it wasn’t the news that Maria Ressa was a lesbian that was shocking.

    What shocked us was:

    1. Maria, A woman of principles, who turn down bribes and tells us to be fearless, is cheating on her current long term partner. I had many conversations with Maria, and I wouldn’t think she was the cheating kind. If this was in the US newsroom, this was grounds for termination. If this was in America, she’d stepped down because Gen Petreus dishonored his position. Maria Ressa’s standards are American. In fact, that’s why she was brought to the newsroom, to uplift the standard of Philliipine Journalism to the Standards used in US! Maria authored the ethical code of conduct! Cheating is not a good ethical conduct, and with someone from the office? Professionalism out of the window.

    2.Sad to say, the Producer, Lilibeth Frondoso is not worth leaving anyone for. Why? On a superficial level, she’s not a looker. On her background, we knew she has 3 children (she was proud of them) and the father, a member of the NPA group, Alex Boncayao brigade. Her career? A lackluster performance at ABS-CBN. Underperformer. Why would Maria leave her longterm partner for this kind of person? Plus, Lilibeth, despite her siga nature, was known to be STRAIGHT. People doubted that she was a lesbian even with her belly and boycut hair.
    http://www.rappler.com/about-rappler/staff-profiles/2526-beth-frondoso

    People at the office said that Beth went for Maria for survival because Beth was supposed to be part of the 35 who was going to get fired.

    Maria, on the other hand, needed allies. Beth provided her with support to continue with the “good fight” that her current partner couldn’t provide, that’s why Maria went with her. People close to Maria also said that Maria, despite her accomplishments was an affirmation addict. Beth new this vulnerability and insecurity of Maria and she latched on it.

    It really shouldn’t matter who Maria goes out with, but this relationship affected the newsroom. Their affair lowered the morale of the newsroom where promotions and achievements were based on merit and good performance, not on who you go out with. Beth acted like she owned the newsroom. Beth was not impressive as a Producer. Her lackluster performance inside the newsroom was covered because she delegated, and she hired people who were better than her. She was quiet and private, but she never hid the fact that she was going out with Maria, who was already promoted as Head of News.

    My view on Maria changed after learning she was going out with Beth Frondoso. Maria, with all her credentials and achievements turns out has no taste and settled when it came to women. I couldn’t believe “eto lang ang katapat niya.” Kala ko pa naman, sosyal si Maria. Then after thinking about it, It’s not as if Maria Ressa is a looker herself. Short, Dark and with Skin Asthma, what Maria going for her is that she’s rich.

    Beth is far from sosyal. Pa sosyal, pwede pa. After they started their affair, Beth was suddenly heard speaking English, a language she hasn’t mastered, but at least she tries.

    So magka level sila.

    Beth has been on the receiving end of this relationship. After working in ABS-CBN for 11 years, she moved to CNN as the Manila stringer, now she’s working at Rappler along side her lover. Beth has no shame in this. What do you take for a woman who steals another woman, her boss no less, why would accepting jobs she didn’t earn be an issue to her?

    Beth admitted to a confidant in the newsroom that Maria took her places that she herself would never go, and that people like Karen Davila, Kim Atienza, Ces Drilon, noticed her unlike before when they *just* regarded her as one of the Producers. She now gained respect, not for her work, but because she’s now Maria Ressa’s buttercup.

    What was kadiri to death was the story that one time, Beth went inside Maria’s office one afternoon. Though the door was closed, people heard pants and heavy breathing. When they both left the office, Maria with her dark complexion, looked flushed. Beth smugly told someone in the newsroom that she fingered Maria in the office. This is Beth’s way of showing who was in charge between the two of them.

    We wondered who was the Alpha Male between the two, but we all said the person with money is in control of the relationship.

    In fairness to Beth and Maria, theirs was a happy ending. Maria used to live in Makati, Beth used to live in Quezon City in a rented house with her 3 children, namely Lejuene who graduated from Interior Design from UP, Uyo an Engineering student at UPLB and Luis, a highschool senior from Claret. None of them took after their hoodlum father, thank God! Now, the entire family lives in Greenhills in a gated community where Beth likes to shop in VirraMall. This is an upgrade from her Isettan days. Beth’s 3 children didn’t approve of Maria at first, but they all relented when they realized that Maria pays for their tuition and standards of living, something their father, Lejune De La Cruz, a gun man for hire can’t provide.

    At work, Maria Ressa fought Luchi Cruz Valdez, Charie Villa, Chi Gonzales and Cheryl Favila. Maria was not well liked by Charo Santos. Maria had difficulty with authority and with people who have ideas who are better than hers. This is one of the reason why the people at Rappler are young, and not senior with substance like at Abs-cbn. Maria also got the Abs-cbn rejects like Rupert Ambil, who Beth once had a relationship with before Maria. Correction, Beth TRIED to have a relationship with Rupert but was rejected immediately.

    I tell this story because Maria Ressa used to be my idol, until she let go of her own principles for this woman at the expense of the newsroom’s values of fairness, meritocracy and ideals.

    I’m just glad that she’s no longer at ABS-CBN, the most powerful news organization in the Philippines, and is now at Rappler. Rappler is nothing. They say that she created Rappler to remain relevant to the Philippines, after all, who is she without a job? A job that defines her as a person.

    Now I read that she’s protecting a 40something couple. Hmmn, I guess she hasn’t changed after all. Lies, going behind people’s back, limited disclosure…reminds me when she was having an affair in the newsroom of Abs-cbn. Some things never changed.

    • Libertas says:

      Maria ressa a fully paid up member of the carpet munchers guild. Not a surprise. Now the vagitarian is also part of the yellow gay media mafia.

      What do you call a lesbian with long fingers?
      Well hung.

      Whats the difference between a lesbian and a bowling ball?
      You can only get 3 fingers in a bowling ball.

    • dan oliver mia says:

      “..to uplift the standard of Philliipine Journalism to the Standards used in US..”

      you mean from one joke to another joke? :D

      “This is one of the reason why the people at Rappler are young, and not senior with substance like at Abs-cbn.”

      kung may substance ang mga personalidad sa mainstream media, matagal na sanang nalagay sa oras na mas maraming makakapanood yung mga programang karapat-dapat pagdiskusyonan.

    • benign0 says:

      Get them while their young, impressionable, and cheap. :D

  • Gogs says:

    You would like to think you are getting objectivity. Whether it was on Rappler or their Twitter , they were showing photos of their press passes on the eve of the SONA. Words of any politician are usually useless. That goes double for Noynoy since he has never talked about anything he ever did pre election. Not once. But Rappler staff seemed to be so excited for this SONA as if they were waiting for Moses to come down from Mt. Sinai. That’s not objectivity. That’s not perspective. They should be objective. But I saw more restraint from teenage girls at the Bieber concert in MOA.

  • Trosp says:

    benigs,

    Insigthful post.

    The worst I’ve seen on Ressa was during the last Trillanes rebellion. The way she justified the media in obstructing the military action against the idiot rebels in the name of press freedom.

    Pwe!

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