THE FOREIGN Correspondents Association of the Philippines denounces moves by the government to shutter the country’s largest broadcaster, ABS-CBN Corp. and its subsidiary. The moves follow Pres. Rodrigo Duterte’s repeated public tirade against the TV network.
ABS-CBN is a cornerstone of Philippine democracy and the free press for its independent and critical reportage and massive following in the country and abroad.
The constitutional violation and other legal infractions raised by the Solicitor General in his Quo Warranto petition before the Supreme Court have been denied by ABSCBN and questioned by some members of the legislature, which has exclusive rights to grant such franchises. ABS-CBN’s franchises, which the Sol-Gen sought to revoke, are due to expire next month.
These moves politically harass and threaten a pillar of the media industry that employs thousands of Filipinos and has played a crucial part in helping fight official corruption and abuse for decades.
Our ABS-CBN colleagues have been on the frontlines of every major breaking news in the country. They have chronicled history, and continue to hold power to account. We call on Congress to act independently.
We call on our Supreme Court Justices to side with the people’s right to truthful and independent news, the Constitution and democracy.
We call on our media colleagues to close ranks in this perilous time. We stand with ABS-CBN. We stand with press freedom.
SO, PUNTO! stands too with ABS-CBN. As do the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity, the Photojournalists’ Center of the Philippines, the Malacanang Press Corps, and other groups of journalists, artists, activists, advocates of human rights, all in defense of freedom of the press.
Now, pray, tell, where stand the celebrity broadcasters Noli de Castro, Ted Failon, Anthony Taberna – all stalwarts of ABS-CBN?