Vol. XCI No. 17
Feb. 21, 2020
Currently, the country’s media industry is placed into great uncertainty when threats to close and shut down the television broadcasting empire ABS-CBN (Alto Broadcasting System – Chronicle Broadcasting Network) echoed from the mouth of the president and was put into action by his subordinates. At the present, the case on whether the media company cease to operate or continue, is still pending in Congress.
In recent years, the media and entertainment organization has received threats from the government, specifically President Rodrigo Duterte. The network was accused of unfair reporting when it comes to the current administration’s achievements compared to the government’s insufficiency in providing quality service to the citizens. Most notedly, the issue on extrajudicial killings during the war on drugs campaign did get a lot of news reports from the company.
According to the law, broadcasting companies must secure congressional franchise in order to continually operate. ABS-CBN, meanwhile, has been issued with a franchise in the year 1995 and is set to expire in March of 2020.
At the start of February, Philippine Solicitor General Jose Calida, filed a complaint to the supreme court accusing ABS-CBN of violating the operating franchise granted by the Congress. He said that the network “abused the privilege granted by the state” upon the introduction of a pay-per-view channel that was not approved by the telecommunications commission of the government.
At the stake of the franchise cancellation the media and entertainment organization is the loss of job of around 11, 000 workers of the network.
The fate of the network is unclear. Although the operation is normal at the moment, the real scenario is of uncertainty. The complaints filed against the media company stressed on the abolition of the company’s abusive practice with regards to its pay-per-view contents that was not included in the franchise. Meanwhile, critics of the administration argues that this issue is one of Duterte’s acts in his warpath against media organizations that have criticised his war on drugs campaign. ABS-CBN has been one of the front runners in presenting news with relations to the government’s war on drugs.
Nonetheless, tWS maintains its support to the press freedom in the country. No media outlet must be persecuted and put at stake for reporting timely and relevant information that aims to inform the public. The aim of all Filipino who are into the service of the Filipino nation must aim for the better good of the Filipino people. Regardless of the result of the investigation, the truth must prevail in the end and justice must be served right.