The media and communications department of Trinity University of Asia (TUA) urged Congress on Monday to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN.
“ABS-CBN has been in our national consciousness for many decades now, and this network has contributed in the shaping of the values and aspirations of the Trinitian Community as well as the Filipino citizenry through its programs, shows, and reporting. A national life without ABS-CBN, or an individual life in the absence of this network, is a dark age of the mind and spirit,” the school department said in a statement.
“We urge the members of the House of Representatives, who by democratic definition, are our supposed representatives, to speak for our desires and aspirations, as well as our concerns in all aspects of our social and political life, to act reasonably and dignified in representing our fight for democracy, as well as all the tenets of our freedoms as enshrined in our Bill of Rights as citizens and builders of this nation,” it added.
Read the full statement here:
Online news website Rappler, the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP), and the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines have backed ABS-CBN after Solicitor General Jose Calida sought to void the company's franchise via a "quo warranto" petition.
It has also gained support from reporters covering Malacañang, the defense, police, the Senate and business beats.
In seeking to invalidate ABS-CBN's franchise, the government's top lawyer, Jose Calida, accused the company of "highly abusive practices."
ABS-CBN, however, insists it is compliant with all the laws governing its franchise and has secured necessary permits for its business operations.
"We reiterate that everything we do is in accordance with the law. We did not violate the law. This case appears to be an attempt to deprive Filipinos of the services of ABS-CBN," the company said.
President Rodrigo Duterte has repeatedly pledged he would stop the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN, which drew his anger for allegedly refusing to air his campaign ad during the 2016 presidential campaign.
In December, Duterte even urged the owners of ABS-CBN to just sell the company, saying he would "see to it that you're out." But Malacañang on Tuesday distanced itself from Calida's moves, saying "the President has nothing to do with it.
ABS-CBN operates free TV Channel 2 and radio DZMM, while news.abs-cbn.com is the official news website of ABS-CBN Corp.