The case will move as well to the Department of Justice, where the SEC decision has been referred for investigation into possible violations by Rappler of the Anti-Dummy Law.
"The SEC's kill order revoking Rappler's license to operate is the first of its kind in history - both for the Commission and for Philippine media", a Rappler statement read. Not the license to publish.
"We never had a hand (in the decision) and I don't give a s*** if you continue or not", said Duterte at Manila airport. "I appeal to the government to realize that we are here to make the country stronger and help make the right decisions".
Rappler has been critical of Rodrigo Duterte since the start of his presidency in 2016, especially his violent 'War on Drugs.' AFP reported that during a 2017 address to congress, Duterte vowed to expose Rappler's "American ownership". She also promised to fight the order and expressed readiness to question it even before the Supreme Court.
"Perhaps having learned from the playbook of old dictators, President Duterte is resorting to other means to clamp down on press freedom", she told Al Jazeera.
The SEC said it had been deliberating on the case since December 22, 2016, when it received a letter from the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) requesting an investigation into Rappler and Rappler Holdings Corp.
A few years ago, the SEC had shown inexplicable leniency toward telecommunications giant PLDT, or Philippine Long Distance & Telephone Co., that was investigated for supposedly skirting the Constitutional rule on 60% Filipino vis 40% foreign ownership of public utilities.
"If Duterte succeeds in silencing Rappler, it will have a profound chilling effect on Philippine media freedom, encouraging self-censorship by reporters and media outlets fearful of government reprisals for critical reporting at a time when the watchdog role of a free press is more urgently needed than ever". "None of the individuals behind Rappler will be prevented from performing their duties as journalist", he said.
Duterte's administration has been the focus of a lot of Rappler's reporting, covering everything from Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs which has left thousands dead to his nasty comments about the European Union, the United Nations, as well as former President Barack Obama.
The Philippines granting of the permission to China was not announced and was revealed a few days ago by a lawmaker who has been fiercely critical of Duterte's close ties with Beijing.
"We call on all Filipino journalists to unite and resist every and all attempts to silence us", NUJP said, adding that it declares its "full support" to media outfits the state "has threatened and may threaten to shut down".
Rising authoritarianism in the region, including from governments like Duterte's, is likely one reason for the crackdown on the press. "He was not even aware there was this decision coming up".
The comments come after Maria Ressa, Rappler's chief executive, said that the decision by the country's Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to cancel the company's incorporation papers was the result of political pressure.
"This is a politically motivated decision, pure and simple, and just the latest attempt to go after anyone who dares to criticize the government", James Gomez, the group's director of Southeast Asia and the Pacific, said in a statement.
His government has denied that his supporters are doing his bidding and the president himself has previously voiced disagreement with some action taken against his opponents.
Amnesty International has led a chorus of criticism after online news website Rappler was ordered to shut down.