Adrian Monck, Managing Director of the World Economic Forum, expresses his sentiment for ABS-CBN Corp, which was forced to halt its broadcast operations in early May due to its expired legislative franchise. Monck was moderating a joint media briefing
on July 1, 2020 with the World Health Organization-Western Pacific Region. (Video clip courtesy of the World Economic Forum)
A World Economic Forum (WEF) official on Wednesday acknowledged the challenges faced by ABS-CBN, saying "everyone would express solidarity" with the network that has suffered one shutdown order after another.
"I think everyone would express solidarity with ABS-CBN right now in the situation they face as a great newsgathering institution in the region," Adrian Monck, WEF Managing Director, said in a livestreamed joint media briefing with the World Health Organization - Western Pacific Region.
Monck, who was moderating the event, made the remarks as he introduced ABS-CBN journalist Kristine Sabillo to ask her questions for WHO regional director Takeshi Kasai.
Kasai discussed, among others, how the WHO has been monitoring the increasing cases of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the Philippines.
ABS-CBN was ordered by the National Telecommunications Commission to shut down its broadcast operation last May 5, a day after the network's previous franchise expired.
The NTC committed to lawmakers in March it will grant ABS-CBN a provisional authority to operate while bills seeking to issue the network a fresh 25-year franchise are being tackled in Congress.
On Tuesday, the NTC also issued two alias cease and desist orders against ABS-CBN's digital broadcast on TVPlus in Metro Manila, and SKY Cable's satellite broadcast nationwide.
ABS-CBN has asked the Supreme Court to issue a temporary restraining order against the May 5 order.
Media rights organizations have called the broadcast shutdown as a curtailment of press freedom.