STATEMENT ON THE DENIAL OF THE ABS-CBN FRANCHISE
Concerned Artists of the Philippines
July 10, 2020
KUNG WALA NANG KATOTOHANAN SA ATING BAYAN
MAGHAHARI ANG MGA BERDUGO’T GAHAMAN.
Today Congress’ denial of the ABS-CBN franchise is an attack that brings us back to the brink of dictatorship in 1972, the last time when the network was shut down.
The Concerned Artists of the Philippines decries how the House of Representatives today effectively killed the bid for a franchise.
We grieve with the many artists and creatives, media workers, and other thousands of employees and workers of the network, whose livelihoods and collective welfare is shaken by the shutdown.
May all the artists, media workers, and celebrities remember the names of the congresspeople who shut this network down and know that they have acted in a manner unbefitting of public servants. We have the power to express and act against those who have thrown away all concern for the people’s welfare.
We condemn how the country’s largest broadcast network was killed by those in government, starting with Pres. Duterte himself whose threats triggered the turn of events leading to today.
We will remember how the 70 members of the committee today acted against the interests of the Filipino people, unheeding of all the appeals, protests, and facts that support the renewal of the network’s franchise. The people will hold them responsible for any resulting layoffs, any denial or limitation in information, and any attacks to press freedom and expression resulting from this shutdown.
We salute the 11 representatives who voted NO to the denial of #ABSCBNfranchise: Rep. Sol Aragones, Rep. Christopher De Venecia, Rep. Carlos Zarate, Rep. Gabriel Bordado Jr., Rep. Vilma Santos-Recto, Rep. Lianda Bolilia, Rep. Jose Tejada, Rep. Bienvenido Abante, Rep. Stella Quimbo, Rep. Mujiv Hataman, and Rep. Edward Maceda. In doing so, they said YES to press freedom, workers; welfare, and our right to be informed.
This setback heightens the existing state of inequality, hardship, and silence amidst the nation’s woes. This is the least that we need at this point of the pandemic, when our COVID-19 infections are breaching the highest records so far for the Philippines and Southeast Asia and when the government is stumbling over the inaccuracies and intricacies of its own data.
We continue to support the call to #DefendPressFreedom and #IbalikAngABSCBN, wherever this next stage of the battle is taken. There is the struggle for free expression to be waged. And there is a Terror Law to junk and defy.