No ‘repetition of history’ in ABS-CBN closure — Panelo
MANILA, Philippines — Media network ABS-CBN’s closure is not a “repetition of history” and is not the same as when the late president and dictator Ferdinand Marcos shut it down with the declaration of martial law in 1972, President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel Salvador Panelo said Wednesday.
ABS-CBN went off the air Tuesday night after the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) issued a cease and desist order with the expiration of its legislative franchise on May 4. https:
The last time the network was ordered closed was in 1972 with the declaration of martial law by Marcos. ABS-CBN resumed operations in 1986 several months after the EDSA People Power Revolution.
“I don’t think there’s a repetition of history. When martial law was declared, the then president had the power to close all communications, telecommunications,” Panelo said in an ANC interview.
“This particular chapter of history, the President (Rodrigo Duterte) does not have that power. Congress has that power. There is a wheel of a difference between then and now,” he stressed.
The shutdown drew criticism from lawmakers and groups who said the order was a grave threat to press freedom.
Meanwhile, Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque said lawmakers should vote in accordance with their conscience since the President remains “neutral” on the matter.
Roque also said ABS-CBN is also free to exhaust all legal remedies available to challenge the NTC’s order.
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