CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (MindaNews / 29 February) – Supporters of embattled television network ABS-CBN held protest rallies and candle lighting activities in all its provincial stations in Mindanao on Friday.
Passing vehicles honked loudly as protesters raised placards with the words “Busina 4 ABS-CBN” and “Stand 4 ABS-CBN along the highways where the provincial stations are located.
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines spearheaded the Mindanao rallies in front of ABS-CBN stations in the cities of Zamboanga, Cagayan de Oro, Surigao, Davao and General Santos.
ABS-CBN faces closure with the continuing inaction of Congress on the renewal of the network’s franchise.
Critics blamed Congress’ refusal to immediately act on the renewal on perceived efforts by President Duterte to silence his critics in media. But the President said the decision was up to the lawmakers.
NUJP Cagayan de Oro chair Pamela Orias said aside from press freedom issues, they staged these events to show their support to the journalists and workers of the network’s provincial stations.
“These are the people we work closely with every day. Seeing them without work will also pain us,” Orias said.
She said church people from the Cagayan de Oro Archdiocese and Iglesia Filipina Independiente also joined the afternoon rally in front of the ABS-CBN provincial station in Barangay Bulua, this city.
A candle lighting and a cultural show by artist Nicolas Aca ended the rally. (Froilan Gallardo/MindaNews)