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Celebrities, journalists, politicians disgusted with the unfortunate shutdown of ABS-CBN

Celebrities were quick to show their support, and express their disappointment.

It is official, the ABS-CBN franchise has finally ended, leaving millions dismayed.

Though House leaders say the corporation can continue operations beyond May 4, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) decided otherwise and sent a cease and desist order to the Kapamilya channel.

Celebrities were quick to show their support, and express their disappointment.

Rox Santos went after the NTC for breaking their promise of granting provisional authorities to ABS-CBN.

Many just posted a photo of ABS-CBN to show they stand with the company.

Angeli Valenciano finds it unusual that POGOs were allowed to operate but ABS-CBN, a company that stood by the Filipino people for decades, was not.

It just doesn’t make sense for Karen Davila that the governent would rather focus on shutting down of ABS-CBN even if the country is facing various problems brought by the COVID-19 crisis.

Ria Atayde was left speechless by the news.

Director Kip Oebanda pointed out how ABS-CBN has the capability of delivering news across the nation due to its wide coverage.

Journalist Zen Hernandez shared a quote from Thomas Jefferson on freedom of the press, which in this case, is unfortunately already limited.

DJ Chacha is appalled that politics was still present during this trying time.

More expressed their melancholy and support for ABS-CBN.

Journalists have also shown their support as press freedom has taken a hit.

Rambo Talabong did a whole thread on the matter.

Unemployment in the country has surged, and the delivery of news and information is limited.

John Nery’s frustration was evident.

The youngest lawmaker in the country agrees it will more difficult for people to get information.

During the Senate’s hybrid session, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon blasted the NTC, along with many other senators.

“This act of NTC… is totally contrary to law and is a grave abuse of discretion.

“First, there is enough precedent… that provisional authority can be issued while the application for renewal is pending,” he said.

Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri pointed out that other media companies were issued provisional authorities to operate while their franchises were still pending in Congress.

“What I find highly irregular is that I know for a fact that there are many stations operating on provisional authority… We can cite many instances when the NTC granted provisional authority for those still applying for their franchises,” he said

Several of the senators labeled the NTC’s order against ABS-CBN as “heartless” and “insensitive,”

“What many don’t realize is at this time, ABS-CBN and other networks continue to pay their talents even if they are not on regular broadcasting schedule,” Senate Committee on Public Services Grace Poe said.

“Many will lose that benefit of having support while there is no work. Ngayon pa sila magpapasara kung kailan maraming walang trabaho (They order a shutdown now that many are losing jobs)?” she said.

“The current resolution of NTC is disappointing. To issue this in times of COVID-19 when people need jobs to survive the pandemic is just heartless considering congressional hearings have shown that the station has not violated any law to justify none extension of franchise,” Senate Labor Committee chair Joel Villanueva said in a separate statement.

Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan was one of the many that wondered why POGOs have been given the green light.

“Stopping ABS-CBN’s operation would cut the income of another 11,000 employees. Wala na bang puso ang pamahalaan? Pero binuksan ang mga POGO. Para lang ba sa dayuhan ang puso ng pamahalaan?” he said in a statement.

“Tinanggalan n’yo ng trabaho ang 11,000 kapwa Pilipino, pati na rin ng konting kasiyahan ng maraming pamilyang Pilipino. By midnight, thousands more will be jobless,” Sen. Nancy Binay said in a tweet.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros said the shutdown “goes against public welfare.”.

“We need more, not fewer voices of responsible media and press lalo na sa panahon ng pandemic na kailangan ng ating mga kababayan ng kumpletong impormasyon (especially at a time of a pandemic when people need complete information),” she said.

Sen. Sonny Angara also emphasized the need for information especially during this crisis.

“This is a time when we need reliable information and we shut down one of the sources that is practically in every household of Filipinos? So where is the Filipino going to get news now? From the internet where there is a lot of fake news? No disrespect to other channels,” Angara said during the Senate’s Tuesday session.

Administration Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go will wait for the corporation’s bid before making a decision.

“The matter of allowing ABS-CBN to operate after the National Telecommunications Commission issued a Cease-and-Desist Order against the media corporation is now with the House of Representatives.

“Once we have had a chance to conduct our own hearings on the matter, that is when I will decide and vote according to my conscience and the interest of the Filipino people.”

The NTC issued a Cease and Desist Order against ABS-CBN after its legislative franchise expired on May 4.

The NTC directed ABS-CBN to stop the operation of its television and radio broadcasting stations nationwide “absent a valid Congressional Franchise required by law,” according to the Order on May 5.

NTC cited Republic Act No. 3846 or the Radio Control Law which states that “no person, firm, company, association, or corporation shall construct, install, establish, or operate a radio transmitting station, or radio receiving station used for commercial purposes, or a radio broadcasting station, without having first obtained a franchise therefor from the Congress of the Philippines.”

The NTC said ABS-CBN “no longer has a valid and subsisting congressional franchise as required by Act No. 3846″ after Republic Act. No 7966 expired, which gave ABS-CBN a 25-year franchise to operate its TV and radio broadcasting stations.

“The NTC Regional Offices shall implement the closure order in their respective areas of jurisdiction,” NTC said in a statement.

“After receipt of ABS-CBN’s response, the NTC shall schedule the case for hearing at the earls time after he Enhanced Community Quarantine is lifted by the Government,” the NTC added.

Solicitor General Jose Calida previously warned the NTC on granting ABS-CBN Corporation and its affiliate, ABS-CBN Convergence, Inc. provisional authorities saying it should first secure a franchise from Congress.

Calida emphasized that the NTC commissioners are risking getting prosecuted under the country’s anti-graft and corruption laws should they issue the “unlawful” provisional authorities to ABS-CBN while not having a franchise.

Written by Charles Teves




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