By Leslie Ann Aquino
A Catholic prelate joined various groups in opposing the cease and desist order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against the television giant ABS-CBN.
San Carlos Bishop Gerardo Alminaza said he is one with those protesting the order citing the thousands of workers affected by such decision.
“I join my voice in protest of the ‘cease and desist order’ of NTC against ABS-CBN on behalf of our journalists and thousands of workers affected by such decision,” he said in an interview.
The prelate also lamented the timing of the decision saying it came at a time when the country is facing the COVID-19 pandemic and “struggling to cope” with its effect on people, especially the labor force.
The Labor department earlier said that the COVID-19 already displaced millions of workers.
Bishop Alminaza said what is important right now is to remedy the situation so as not to aggravate anymore the plight of workers.
“Whatever legal issues there might be in this case, a remedy should be sought that will not further aggravate the plight of thousands of workers that will be added to the growing number of Filipino gravely affected by this pandemic,” he said.
Father Jerome Secillano of the Nuestra Senora del Perpetuo Socorro Parish in Manila also lamented the decision of the NTC.
“Granting that the ABS-CBN franchise has indeed lapsed, still the timing of the decision is off and the repercussions to workers are greatly disadvantageous,” he said.
“The NTC could have been more prudent in dealing with the issue taking into consideration the network’s contribution to public good specially in this time of crisis.” added Secillano.
The NTC on Tuesday directed the network to stop operations of television and radio stations nationwide, “absent a valid Congressional Franchise required by law.”
The network’s operating franchise expired on May 4.