Editor's note: We are publishing in full statements issued by various groups and institutions in support of ABS-CBN Corp., which went off the air on May 5, 2020 following a cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission. The company's franchise expired on May 4, while bills for its franchise renewal, some filed since 2016, continued to languish in Congress.
MAKATI BUSINESS CLUB'S STATEMENT ON SHUTDOWN OF ABS-CBN BROADCAST OPERATIONS
MBC expresses its concern that the shutdown of ABS-CBN Corp’s. broadcast operations will be a blow to press freedom, which is a pillar of democratic societies such as ours. It is also a setback at a time when the country needs to be reunited against the pandemic. Now more than ever, everyone should be working together on the singular goal of helping each other through this crisis.
We strongly support a balanced, fair and swift consideration of the bills filed by several lawmakers to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise. If there are legitimate issues against the company, Congress should address them while defending constitutional rights and freedoms; according equal treatment as other companies with expired franchises and pending applications; and preserving broadcast and communications systems that can deliver truth, news, and information to even the farthest points of the country, especially at this time.