'Chilling effect already here': Veteran journalist bats for ABS-CBN franchise renewal


Posted at Feb 24 2020 04:03 PM

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A veteran journalist and TV anchor on Monday backed the renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN Corp., saying moves to block the franchise renewal has brought a chilling effect on press freedom in the country. 

Roby Alampay, Pumapodcast founder and former editor-in-chief of Businessworld, told senators that ABS-CBN has proven its value over the years. "I think timbang na timbang naman po na dapat mailabas at ma-renew ang franchise ng ABS-CBN," he said. 

He also warned that continuing attacks on ABS-CBN has caused a chilling effect on journalists due to the threat of losing their jobs. 

He noted that the ABS-CBN franchise renewal is being moved out of the mandate of Congress following the filing of a quo warranto petition by the Office of the Solicitor General. 

"The provisional franchise that is now being floated, which will have the effect, I believe, of basically taking the power and the mandate for however indeterminate a time away from Congress and transferring it via the NTC to the executive over an unforeseen life of future, I think all of these creates as Senator Drilon said a Damocles sword hanging above every media practitioner in the Philippines," he said. 

ANC, February 24, 2020