More media groups stand by ABS-CBN; decry OSG’s quo warranto petition
MANILA, Philippines — More media organizations threw their support to media conglomerate ABS-CBN, which is facing challenges in its franchise renewal, including a quo warranto petition filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to scrap the broadcasting giant’s license to operate.
In a statement, the Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) called on Congress to exercise “independence as a co-equal branch of government and commence work on ABS-CBN franchise renewal to ensure a more dynamic free flow of information for the benefit of a better-informed citizenry and robust Philippine democracy.”
The University of the Philippines-College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC) likewise expressed support to ABS-CBN, saying the country needs “a free press to serve as a faithful chronicler of contemporary events.”
UP-CMC said in a statement the move to shut down the television network indicates that the Duterte administration will go far and wide “to silence critical media voices.”
In another statement, the Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) said Solicitor General Jose Calida’s move “politically harass and threaten a pillar of the media industry that employs thousands of Filipinos.”
As for the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), it “strongly condemns the shameless move of Solicitor General Jose Calida.”
CEGP also pledged to defend press freedom and back ABS-CBN’s renewal of its franchise, which is set to lapse on March 30.
“The Guild and its member publications vowed to defend ABS-CBN in defense of press freedom and its thousands of workers. We will be true to our mandate — to deliver to the people the truth they deserve and join the people’s struggles. We will continue our fight for genuine press freedom,” it said in a statement.
Aside from OSG’s quo warranto petition, at least 11 bills aimed at renewing the legislative franchise of ABS-CBN are still not being taken up by lawmakers in the House of Representatives.