The ANC Brief: A threat to press freedom


Posted at Feb 11 2020 04:40 AM | Updated as of Feb 11 2020 04:09 PM

President Duterte has repeatedly expressed his displeasure at ABS-CBN. On Monday, one of the President’s men went on the offensive against the network.

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Chilling effect
The Palace said President Duterte had nothing to do with Solicitor General Jose Calida’s quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN. House Committee on Legislative Franchises Rep. Franz Alvarez said that the case of the network is not an issue of press freedom. The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said this was a case of a vindictive President Duterte hell bent on shutting down the network. Some lawmakers insisted that the power to grant franchises rests with Congress. Is Calida’s move causing a “chilling effect” among lawmakers? Rep. Lito Atienza called for the resignation of Alvarez if the network’s franchise is not taken up in Congress.

Mode of transmission
Has the novel coronavirus (nCoV) gone airborne? Citing the World Health Organization (WHO), the Department of Health there was no truth reports pointing to the virus adding a new mode of transmission. Taiwan has been included in the country’s list of countries where a temporary travel ban has been implemented. The Senate will hold a hearing at 9:30 a.m. on the effects of the nCoV to tourism.

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Trying to save the VFA
President Duterte revealed that US President Donald Trump tried to save the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). But Duterte said he told Trump no and that he was serious about throwing out the deal. Analyst Jay Batongbacal said the agreement was the only thing preventing China from building structures on Scarborough Shoal. Without the agreement, he thinks nothing can stop China from gaining a better foothold in the South China Sea.

Sedition raps
Former Sen. Antonio Trillanes was indicted by the Department of Justice (DOJ) for sedition. According to the rap, Trillanes linked Duterte, his family and allies to drug trade. The DOJ also cleared Vice President Leni Robredo and some lawmakers of sedition.

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Viva Italia
The brainchild of Italian ambassador Giorgio Guglielmino, Arte Povera helps foster art appreciation between his country and the Philippines. It is the most important exhibit of contemporary art from Italy ever presented in Asia, he tells ANCX.