- The contract expires on March 2020
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) went on Twitter and Facebook to urge people to join them in protesting against the government stalling on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.
The said protest is expected to happen this Friday, January 17, at 6 pm, and will be held in front of ABS-CBN’s Esguerra Gate.
The post garnered mixed reactions from netizens.
“I dont like the news affairs. If hindi pwede na news lang i shutdown, then GOOD BYE ABSCBN.”
“The stupidity of @nujp is overwhelming. How can gov’t block something when it is within their constitutional power to grant or not to grant something. This is why people don’t trust #journalists outright. Their vanity makes them stupid. @ABSCBNNews @ANCALERTS @ColmenaresPH “
“I support #NoToABSCBNShutdown! 🇵🇭🙏🙌 In Jesus Name 🙌”
“I am a Kapuso, but count me in.”
“NUJP nong nagprotesta ang mga empleyado nang ABS-CBN na tinanggal noong 2010 upang ipaglaban ang kanilang karapatan na saan kayo, maka manggagawa ba kayo o maka kapitalista?”
NUJP is inviting colleagues and the public to a Black Friday protest against government efforts to block the renewal of ABS-CBN's franchise.
— NUJP (@nujp) January 16, 2020
ABS-CBN was founded back in 1946, and even with all circumstances that the company is facing, it is still at the top in terms of revenue, net income, and assets.
Unfortunately, the company has only three months left on its contract, and can no longer operate after the date of its expiration.
Interestingly, Rep. Rufus Rodriguez, a known Duterte ally, is actually advocating for the company’s franchise renewal. Rodriguez urged the House Committee on Legislative Franchises to focus more on the factors, such as bills, that are designed to make sure that the company’s franchise renewal is granted.
“I urge Chair Franz Alvarez of the House Committee on Legislative Franchise to start hearings on my House Bill No. 5705 renewing the ABS-CBN franchise for another 25 years together with 9 other bills on the same subject matter. Congress should always uphold the Constitutional mandate under Sec 4, Art 3 to ensure the freedom of the press,” .
Rodriguez also mentioned all the positive things that the company has done.
“The late Gina Lopez initiated the Bantay Bata 163, the Bantay Kalikasan and the Kapit Bisig para sa Ilog Pasig project,”
Asian Forum for Human Rights and Development (FORUM-Asia), a human rights group, also supports the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN.
FORUM-Asia emphasized the fact that that media is getting attacked more than ever, and that the Philippine Congress should support press freedom more.
“At a time when the international community recognizes the gravity of the violations committed in pursuit of the ‘war on drugs’ and efforts to promote accountability are slowly yielding results, Congress must prove itself capable of standing by its principles and promote the interests of the people. It must resist pressure from the executive and refuse to allow itself to be used to shield the President from accountability,”
11 congressmen have already filed 9 bills in an effort to make sure that the franchise renewal process proceeds.
Celebrities have also showed their support toward the company’s franchise renewal.
Boy Abunda late last year said that he doesn’t really know the details to the problem of the franchise renewal, but will remain loyal to the company.
“Ang feeling ko is, I’m wishing for the best. I’m not familiar with the problem, di ko alam ang detalye ng problema, pero ano man yun ay sana’y maayos,”
“Hindi ko alam how I’m going to behave. I am under contract with ABS-CBN and I will remain loyal to ABS,” he added.
Additionally, Yeng Constantino also released statements urging President Rodrigo Duterte to give the company another chance.
“Panalangin ko talaga na hindi mangyari kasi pinanganak po ako sa ABS-CBN, dito ko sumipot umusbong, Malungkot yung thought na maari na baka mawala.”
Recently, Sharon Cuneta also expressed her thoughts on the whole situation, hoping that the President will allow the renewal of the company’s license.
“So, I’ll just say this before saying goodbye, I pray that our dear President reconsiders his decision about ABS-CBN. Not just because I just renewed, I can always find a job. But everybody I grew up with here who have remained loyal to the station, and have grown up here, have learned from the school of hard knocks here, have become family, good friends – will lose almost everything they’ve built over the years.”
Cuneta said that nothing will be the same if ABS-CBN sells the network.
“And even those that might choose to stay, if indeed, you know, unfortunately, goes that way, it won’t be the same. So, I hope in my heart that our dear President reconsiders the thousands and thousands of Pinoys who have grown up here, learned the ropes here, that includes me.”
Angelie Quinto also shared how she had offers from different networks, but said she declined them because she will always remain loyal to ABS-CBN.
“Hindi matatawaran ng presyo ‘yung utang na loob ko sa ABS.”
Quinto also revealed that she already thought about leaving in the past.
“Kung san may trabaho dun tayo. Pero ‘yung wala ka naman masasagasaan, ‘yung wala naman masasabi sa ‘yo ‘yung tao na wala naman utang na loob ‘to, di ba? Pwede ka naman gumawa ng paraan na magkakaroon ka pa rin ng trabaho, ‘yung maayos.”
Early last year, thousands of artists and workers signed a petition urging the House of Representatives to renew the franchise of ABS-CBN.
Among those were Piolo Pascual, Coco Martin, Lea Salonga, Pinky Amador, Jaime Fabregas, John Arcilla, Butuin Escalante, Angel Aquino, Ricky Lee, Rody Vera, Lav Diaz, Joel Lamangan, Mae Paner and other TV personalities.