Opposition coalition hits moves vs ABS-CBN as it commemorates EDSA revolt
MANILA, Philippines — Opposition coalition Tindig Pilipinas on Tuesday hit the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte for the franchise woes of broadcast network ABS-CBN as it commemorated the 34th anniversary of the EDSA People Power Revolution that toppled the presidency of late dictator Ferdinand Marcos in 1986.
Corazon “Dinky” Soliman, former Social Welfare Secretary at the time of former President Benigno Aquino III and now convenor of Tindig Pilipinas, recounted how press freedom was curtailed during the martial law and compared it to the ordeal that the country’s largest network now going through.
“Si Marcos virus noon, ipinapasara ang ABS[-CBN]. Press freedom ang kanilang isinisiil. Ngayon si Duterte gusto rin ipasara ang ABS-CBN,” she said in an interview with reporters shortly after the group staged a protest in front of the historic EDSA Shrine in Quezon City.
[The Marcos virus back then wanted ABS-CBN to close. He curtailed press freedom. Now, Duterte also wants ABS-CBN to close.]
She also questioned Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go, Duterte’s former special aide and now his close ally in the Senate, on why he would convince the President to have the franchise of the network be renewed.
“Ano naman ang kanilang laro na kukumbinsehin ni Sen. Bong Go na huwag isara? Bakit kailangan na kumbinsihin siya? Wala bang batas? Wala bang proseso na kailangan sundin dahil ‘yan ay nasa batas at Konstitusyon?” she said.
[What is their game now that Sen. Bong Go said he would convince the President not to close the network? Why would Duterte have to be convinced? Is there not a law or a process that can be followed because it is what is stated in the law and Constitution?]
Members of the coalition also attended a Holy Mass at the church prior to the rally. In holding the protest, the group shouted “Duterte virus, puksain [eliminate]” in unison, mixing the name of the President and the coronavirus disease that has so far killed over 2,600 individuals.
The protesters, all in clad in yellow shirts, were wearing cloth masks bearing words critical of Duterte.
“Ito [face masks] ay simbolo sa pagtingin namin na ang Marcos virus noon ay naging Duterte virus. Parang noon nagka-SARS at ngayon may coronavirus. Noon may Marcos virus, ngayon may Duterte virus dahil siya ay naging taksil sa kanyang mga pangako,” said Soliman.
[This is a symbol of our view that the previous Marcos virus has become the Duterte virus. Before, there was SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome). Now there is the coronavirus. Before, there was a Marcos virus. Now there is a Duterte virus because he has not accomplished his promises.]
Soliman, meanwhile, explained that there was no large mass demonstration staged during the commemoration of the bloodless revolt as a safety measure amid the threat of the coronavirus disease.
She noted, however, that many youths who did not witness the human rights violations in the Marcos dictatorship had been joining protests in different parts of Metro Manila.
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