MANILA — The 2022 elections as well as the phrase, "Maniningil ang kasaysayan," were among the top Twitter trends in the Philippines on Friday, as the country's largest broadcast network ABS-CBN was denied a fresh 25-year franchise by Congress.
The vote of the House Committee on Legislative Franchises effectively shuts down ABS-CBN for good, over two months since it was issued a cease-and-desist order by the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) over an expired franchise.
ABS-CBN had been trying to renew its franchise since 2014, but faced several roadblocks, especially under the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte, who had repeatedly promised to close it down.
Within an hour of the House panel decision on Friday, terms related to the ABS-CBN franchise swept the top 10 trending topics on Twitter locally.
Notably, #Halalan2022 was only second to #NOtoABSCBNFranchiseDenial, with a flood of tweets vowing to vote in the next elections, many of which included the list of lawmakers who voted for or against granting ABS-CBN a new franchise.
Aside from the campaign hashtags in support of ABS-CBN, and the call to #DefendPressFreedom, notable phrases that ranked in the list were, "Remember this day," and, "Maniningil ang kasaysayan."
The latter was from a statement of opposition senator Risa Hontiveros, who urged Filipinos to "speak out against this outrageous act of political persecution."