International press journalists condemn denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise

NEW JERSEY — After the ABS-CBN 25-year franchise renewal was denied by the Duterte administration on July 10, Filipinos and international journalists reacted to the news.

The news has made headlines around the globe, many critics and communities calling it a “blow to press freedom” in the Southeast Asian nation.

Human Rights Watch deputy Asia director Phil Robertson was quoted as saying this move solidifies the tyranny of Duterte, who accused ABS-CBN of slights against him and politically targeted it for refusing to toe the government’s line and criticizing his so-called ‘war on drugs.’

In a New York Times story, Nonoy Espina — who heads the national union of journalists of the Philippines — said that lawmakers who were seeking to block the franchise renewal had “gripes” to settle.

By voting to shut down ABS-CBN, Espina said, the Philippine Congress “has lost all claim to represent the people and their interests.”

Meanwhile, nearly 1000 journalists, editors and media practitioners sent out a statement following the denial of ABS-CBN’s franchise, saying the 70 lawmakers clearly want to treat the press as a propaganda machine that will serve their political interest.

The statement added: the role of a journalist in a democratic society is to keep the people well-informed to allow them to be free and self-governing, not to serve as any administration’s publicist.

Local Filipinos in New Jersey reacted to the news.

Despite losing the channel 2 bandwidth, ABS-CBN said their shows — like TV Patrol — can still be viewed through all platforms of The Filipino Channel, the network’s international arm.

TFC is available via cable or Direct TV, IPTV and TFC Online.

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  • Mario
    13 July 2020 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    WATCHING live at YOUTUBE: “ABS-CBN Franchise hearing”. The Total Congressman voters were 85, 4 abstain, 70-YES, it means to kill the Franchise, 11-NO votes means to renew the franchise. ABS-CBN is DEAD, it is over. Lifetime savings on Nollie De Castro, Ted Failon, Jose Marie, Corina, and many Actors/ Actresses invested 20Million, Share of Stocks each, are all gone. ABS-CBN owner/CEO, GABBIE LOPEZ will just run away and hide in the US. He is a US citizen, it is hard to sue him being ABS-CBN a PH Corp. According to unknown sources, KRIS AQUINO asked for 1 Million fees per TV appearance on her show and his brother PINOY will re-new the franchise, because it was Cory AQUINO who gave back the franchise. But GABBY said, “TAYO ang nagpanalo sa Kapatid bakit tayo maglalagay”. If LENI will run for President within 2 yrs, she will have only 11 Congressman to support her, versus 70 Congressman who will support Duterte candidate. TALO NA mag ra-rally nalang sila.