Filipino Canadians express dismay over ABS-CBN shutdown

VANCOUVER — Canadian member of parliament, Don Davies, knows the vital role a free, independent media plays in democratic countries in the world.

That’s why he was deeply disappointed on the recent shutdown of the largest broadcasting network in the Philippines.

“My voice is in strong support of the media journalist there and hope that the government there responds immediately and the Canadian government should indicate our support for the journalists in the Philippines as well.”

BC member of legislative assembly, Mable Elmore, who is Filipino-Canadian, was shocked to hear the news.

“I was very disappointed to hear that and I think they’re doing important work. So freedom of the press is an important foundation for any democracy and so I’m hoping they will be back on the air soon.”

In their Facebook page, several Filipino advocacy groups — Migrante Canada, Bayan Canada and Anakbayan Canada — condemned the Duterte government’s cease and desist order against ABS-CBN.

Migrante Canada called it an attack on press freedom and reminiscent of deposed President Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law, when all media establishment critical of his rule were shut down.

“As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens in the Philippines, free and accessible information from a trustworthy news source is essential and a right to all people. It is a disservice to the Filipino people when information at this critical time can save lives.”

Anakbayan Canada said it is a disservice to our kababayans when information during the coronavirus pandemic can save lives.

Bayan Canada urged Filipinos to take a stand, saying history taught us that it is right and just to fight back against tyrants.

Kababayans in Vancouver appealed to President Duterte to intercede and put ABS-CBN back on the air.

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