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Philippine Online News Site Critical of Duterte Ordered Shut

FILE - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte checks the scope of a Chinese-made CS/LR4A sniper rifle, June 28, 2017.

The Philippine securities commission has revoked the registration of an online news outfit known for its critical reporting on President Rodrigo Duterte, a move media watchdogs said is an act to muzzle the free press.

The Securities and Exchange Commission said in a ruling made public Monday that Rappler violated the constitutional prohibition on foreign ownership and control of mass media companies when it received investment from an international investment firm.

Rappler says it will fight the ruling and continue to operate.

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines expressed outrage over the ruling and called on Filipino journalists "to unite and resist every and all attempts to silence us."

Duterte's spokesman says the issue is compliance with the law and not infringement of press freedom.