De Lima likens ABS-CBN shutdown to ‘Oplan Tokhang’
MANILA, Philippines —Senator Leila de Lima, who is an ardent critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, likened the franchise denial of ABS-CBN by the House of Representatives to “Oplan Tokhang” which left thousands dead in the administration’s bid to stop illegal drug operations in the country.
“Tinokhang. Ganito ang ginawa sa pagpatay ng prangkisa ng ABS-CBN. Walang laban, walang katarungan, walang konsensya!” wrote De Lima in a dispatch sent from the Philippine National Police Custodial Center inside Camp Crame where she is being detained on drug charges.
The House Committee on Legislative Franchises voted to deny the network’s application for a franchise after its initial one that lasted for 25 years expired.
There were 70 congressmen who voted yes in favor of denial while there were 11 no votes and three who abstained from the process, as per the recommendation of the Technical Working Group’s (TWG) Committee Resolution to deny the network’s application.
Based on the TWG report, ABS-CBN itself violated its old franchise, which the panel described as a privilege.
According to the TWG, the network cannot invoke the freedom of the press to justify its franchise application since, as the same group said, that it had inappropriate program content and meddled in politics.
The TWG also reported that ABS-CBN had tax avoidance schemes, former chairman Eugenio Lopez III is both a Filipino and American citizen, and the network had less than exemplary labor practices.
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