ABS-CBN ‘deprived of due process’, says CHR

Published May 9, 2020, 12:00 AM

by manilabulletin_admin

By Czarina Nicole Ong Ki

Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Commissioner Karen Gomez-Dumpit said that in issuing a cease and desist order that caused the shutdown of ABS-CBN operations, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) deprived the media company of due process of the law.

This view shows the ABS-CBN network headquarters in Quezon City in the Metro Manila area on May 5, 2020. - The Philippines' top broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced off air on May 5 over a stalled operating licence renewal, drawing fresh charges that authorities were cracking down on press freedom. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP)
This view shows the ABS-CBN network headquarters in Quezon City in the Metro Manila area on May 5, 2020. – The Philippines’ top broadcaster ABS-CBN was forced off air on May 5 over a stalled operating licence renewal, drawing fresh charges that authorities were cracking down on press freedom. (Photo by Maria TAN / AFP)

During the “Tanggol Karapatan” talk with Radio Veritas 846 on Saturday morning, Gomez-Dumpit said that the shutdown of ABS-CBN negatively affected the Filipinos’ right to information, freedom of the press, and freedom of expression.

However, the biggest right that was affected was ABS-CBN’s right to due process.

“Normally, when NTC issues a show cause order, there should be notice and the person given the notice should be given the opportunity to be heard and explain themselves,” she said.

Gomez-Dumpit added that there have been precedents wherein media companies were still allowed to operate despite expiry of their franchise.

“Even TV5 was able to operate despite (the) expiry of their franchise for several months,” she said.

Radio Veritas of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) was likewise allowed to continue operations even though its franchise expired in 2017.

Gomez-Dumpit said that people need to look into Congress, since it is tasked to look into these franchise. “Bakit natagalan (Why was it delayed)?” she asked.

 

 
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