Twitter: @edd1819, Instagram: @bluestar0910, Facebook: SDN — Science, Digital & Current Affairs
By EDD K. USMAN
(SDN) — “CRUEL DECISION.”
Journalists from various news media entities gave this unflattering description to the act of 70 members of the House of Representatives denying media giant ABS-CBN’s application for franchise renewal.
The Senate Press Corps issued a statement on the congressmen’s act, lambasting them for their decision.
“We deplore the cruel decision of the 70 House members that will result in the loss of livelihood of the 11,000 ABS-CBN workers amid the raging Covid-19 pandemic,” the group said in their statement.
One of the press corps’ members Hanna Torregoza of Manila Bulletin posted the scathing statement on Facebook.
The Senate Press Corps warned of the Domino Effect of the 70 congressmen’s act on other industries.
“This will also bring serious economic repercussions as the shutdown of ABS-CBN is already being felt in other industries and by the micro-entrepreneurs whose businesses are dependent on the network’s operations,” the group emphasized.
It pointed to the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR), Securities Exchange Commission (SEC), and the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for repeadtedly declaring the media titan was complying with the law. The group said these government agencies were crucial to the issue.
Moreover, the journalists’ group like other media organizations described the congressmen’s denial for ABS-CBN’s new franchise as blow to press freedom.
“The call of some lawmakers for Filipinos to move on is insensitive and an insult to the intelligence of the people, whom these congressmen think will simply forgive and forget the assault they launched against press freedom and the economy.”
A government agency under the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) did not escape the Senate reporters’s wrath.
They deplored the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) officials’ key role on the debacle that hit ABS-CBN.
The Senate reporters vowed to remain in solidsirty with their fellow journalists.
“We continue to stand in solidarity with our colleagues in ABS-CBN and all those affected by the unjust and cruel action by these congressmen.
“We assure all that media organizations and the general public, even under these difficult times, will not stop and will not tire in calling out lawmakers and other public officials for their wrongdoings.”
On July 10, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises with 70 votes from a total of 85 committee and ex-officio members torpedoed ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, shutting down the country’s biggest media organization’s operations.
ABS-CBN can appeal the congressmen’s decision.
The decision was roundly hit by various quarters, including from international groups. (SDN)