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, and bills for its franchise renewal were "killed" by the legislative franchises committee of the House of Representatives on July 10, 2020.
This is a black day not only for ABS-CBN, whose application for a new franchise has been killed by Congress. It is a black day for the broadcast media and all Filipinos who believe in the promotion of media platforms to serve as marketplaces for the free discourse of ideas.
We believe that ABS-CBN bravely and ably defended itself against the charges hurled at it, justifying why it is entitled to the franchise it sought from Congress.
The Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) has stood four-square behind the greatest battle that ABS-CBN went through in its bid for a fresh 25-year franchise.
While we respect the power of Congress to grant public franchises that are clothed with social responsibility, the KBP will continue to assert its independence as guaranteed by Section 4 of the Bill Rights of our Constitution that states that “no law shall be passed abridging the freedom of the press.”
This power of mass communications to inform, educate, entertain and influence public opinion, we shall exercise with utmost responsibility, fairness and without bias, at all times.