READ: La Salle communication dep't statement on the ABS-CBN franchise rejection

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 26 2020 03:41 PM

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.

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De La Salle University-Manila
Department of Communication
College of Liberal Arts
STATEMENT ON THE DENIAL OF ABS-CBN’S APPLICATION FOR FRANCHISE RENEWAL

We, the undersigned, express our concern on the House of Representatives’ rejection of the ABS-CBN’s application for the renewal of its franchise.

ABS-CBN is an integral part of Filipinos’ way of life. It has provided the public with important information on the latest and most significant events in our country. It has been a responsible partner in helping Filipinos worldwide through its far-reaching public service programs and social justice advocacies.

Rejecting the franchise renewal denies the Filipino people access to a reliable source of information especially in these times of uncertainty. It will also have a negative impact on the network’s ability to continue its public service efforts that help thousands of Filipinos in this pandemic. The decision of the House also put the livelihood of more than 11,000 of its employees at great risk, in addition to the adverse socio-economic effects it would have on a wider scale when other stakeholders of the network are considered – families, suppliers, advertisers, and other businesses and individuals that have ties to ABS-CBN.

We are dismayed that the Congressional decision did not seem to reflect the interest of the public but succumbed to personal prejudices and vendetta. Further, we denounce the threats of some legislators to vote against the renewal on the basis of the network’s editorial policies and journalistic standards.

 

As a community of artists, communicators, media practitioners, and critical thinkers and scholars, we strongly believe in the role of an independent press as a bastion in democratic governance. The news media has the responsibility to speak truth to power and demand accountability. It is not there to serve as a propaganda tool of the government.

We strongly remind our government officials to respect the independence of journalism and the conduct of press freedom in the country.

We urge our public servants to remain true to their vow of representing public interest and not theirs or their patron’s whims.

We stand in solidarity with the members of ABS-CBN and wish them fortitude in their ongoing struggle.

Finally, we call on our fellow Filipinos not to shirk in our responsibility to advocate for good governance, rule of law, and our basic rights including freedom of speech and of the press, as these are shared, treasured values that would help keep the light of democracy aflame.