LP slams NTC’s move to shut down ABS-CBN
MANILA, Philippines—The Liberal Party on Wednesday condemned the National Telecommunications Commission’s directive to shut down the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN.
The leading opposition party said that turning off ABS-CBN’s broadcast was a hindrance to the country’s efforts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, put thousands of workers and their families at risk, and hindered the public’s access to reliable information.
“By ordering ABS-CBN to shut down its operations, the administration has hampered our collective capability to respond to the current public health crisis, upended the lives of thousands of workers and their families, and put at risk those of many others who rely on accurate, timely, and reliable information to navigate the age of COVID-19,” said the party in a statement released to media.
LP also slammed the government’s decision to stop ABS-CBN, a station that’s broadcasted news and information for decades, from operating while prioritizing the resumption of the Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators that has been found out to owe the around P50 billion in unpaid taxes.
“They chose to do this despite a provisionary status that would have allowed ABS-CBN to continue their work. They chose to do this despite the many tasks that any reasonable administration would have prioritized. They even prioritized closing ABS-CBN while allowing POGOs to continue,” said the party.
LP also criticized the Duterte administration’s slow response to the COVID-19 wherein, they said, that less than one percent of the population was tested and while medical frontliners still lack the support and equipment they need.
Plans for the post-COVID-19 economic safety nets are also not in place.
“That this government would shut ABS-CBN down in the midst of a pandemic – where media is both a lifeline and a source of comfort – calls into question their motivations, their priorities, and their commitment to our people’s well-being,” said LP.