The National Telecommunications Commission’s order to shutdown broadcast network ABS-CBN is unconstitutional and an assault to the people’s right to information. The order is contrary to the recommendation of Congress to issue a provisional license for the network, while the deliberation for its franchise renewal is suspended.
In this time of grave pandemic — when information is crucial for our survival, and when ensuring accountability on government’s inadequate response to COVID-19 is paramount— the closure of a major network throws us into darker depths.
Since the pandemic started, we have seen nothing but a systematic bulldozing of our fundamental freedoms. The Duterte administration has relentlessly attacked our basic rights, including our right to free expression and press freedom — all the while taking advantage of the #COVID19 crisis. Instead of providing solutions to the pandemic, the Duterte administration has been using the public health crisis to further control public opinion and discourse.
Altermidya stands in full support with thousands of media workers, press freedom advocates, and freedom-loving Filipinos who call for the immediate cancellation of the NTC order. There is no doubt, our civil liberties are in serious peril. But together, let us not allow these dark times to engulf us, and instead unite in asserting our right to free expression and in defending press press freedom.
Uphold free expression! Defend press freedom! Fight Back!