Journalists rap House as ‘enemy of democracy’ for not renewing ABS-CBN franchise

Published July 11, 2020, 10:41 AM

by Noreen Jazul

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said the 18th Congress has “declared itself” as an “enemy of democracy,” when it refused to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise on Friday.

The House Committee on Legislative Franchises conducts voting on the proposed grant of fresh 25-year legislative franchise to ABS-CBN network during a virtual proceedings on Friday. (Contributed photo / MANILA BULLETIN)

“This chamber has lost all claim to represent the people and our interests,” the NUJP said in a statement.

NUJP said by denying ABS-CBN’s bid to renew its franchise, the House of Representatives not only stripped 11,000 people of their jobs, but it also deprived millions of Filipinos of their “right to know and their right to choose how to access the information (that) they need (in order) to decide on their futures as well as the entertainment that allows them a respite from the hardships of life.”

“But let us not mark July 10, 2020 as a day of defeat and mourning,” NUJP said.

“Let us prove that it is not the “will of Congress” but the “will of the people” that ultimately prevails,” it added.

NUJP’s affiliate International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) also expressed dismay on the Lower House’s decision to deny ABS CBN’s franchise bid.

“The IFJ stands in solidarity with ABS-CBN employees, media workers and advocates around the world who will continue fighting for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, urging the Philippines government to ensure the prompt renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise,” the IFJ said.

Read more: ABS-CBN fran­chise bid junked