ILOILO City – Ilonggos join the nationwide coordinated action today to call for the renewal of the franchise of TV Network ABS-CBN amidst Duterte’s blatant announcement to block the renewal in any way possible.
Clad in black clothes, the progressive and alternative media groups and campus journalists gather at ABS-CBN office in La Paz to show their support to the TV network.
Duterte has repeatedly aired his stand to no longer allow the approval of the network’s franchise and even quipped that the network should sell it instead.
”This instruction from Duterte speaks his Marcosian ideologies, a copycat from what Marcos did during martial law era which shuts down TV networks, radio stations, and newspaper agencies,” said Elmer Forro, Bayan Panay secretary-general.
Consistent of its stand to defend the people’s democratic rights, Bayan Panay call on fellow Ilonggos to support the call for ABS-CBN renewal of franchise which is set to expire this March.
”Duterte wants to control the media and the information in order to preserve himself as the champion of democracy, land rights, and anti-drug drive. These, of course, are easily disputed by the record-high human rights abuses under his regime which have surpassed all regime combined since Marcos time,” Forro added.
For the alternative media group, John Ian Alenciaga of AlterMidya Panay said that if Duterte is able to silent a big media network like ABS-CBN, he can do so with other media networks especially the alternative media and other small media networks.
Under Duterte, there have been 154 incidents of attacks and threats against media documented by the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility (CMFR) and the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP). Of the 154 cases, 15 were recorded cases of killings against media practitioners. Since 1992, there were 83 journalists killed in the Philippine according to Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ).
”Let us stand to defend press freedom. Whether it is a big or small media organization, they contribute a lot to the people’s right to information and counter misinformation and disinformation being spread by this administration,” Alenciaga added.
”We have to assert our rights especially under Duterte whose tyrannical rule is already in place under Executive Order No. 70, placing the entire country under undeclared martial law,” added Forro.
”The media as the fourth estate, should continue its mandate to deliver truthful information and not succumb to Duterte’s dictate,” said Forro.
Alenciaga urged the public to fight back against Duterte’s continuing despotic attacks and defend our democratic rights./www.panaytoday.net