ABS-CBN franchise denial: Chilling effect not only to media but ‘basically’ to people – Gordon
MANILA, Philippines — The move of the House of Representatives to disapprove ABS-CBN’s bid to renew its franchise sends a chilling effect not only to the media but “basically” to people who may become “afraid to talk”, Senator Richard Gordon said Saturday.
In a radio interview, the senator’s reaction was sought about whether standards on applying for a franchise will be affected after what happened to ABS-CBN’s application.
“It really sends chilling effect even not only to the radio and TV or the media but really basically people themselves na they will be afraid to talk,” Gordon replied in mixed Filipino and English over DWIZ.
Other franchises could likewise be affected because of the denied franchise to the country’s media broadcasting giant.
“Mayroong tinatawag na democratic space ang tawag dito sa ABS-CBN, we have narrowed democratic space na delikado ka kung ikaw ay kritikal at pinapalakas ngayon ‘yung mga miyembro ng Kongreso na tatakutin na nila ngayon ‘yan: ‘Malapit na franchise mo’ o kaya pwede sabihin na, ‘We will cancel your franchise dahil privilege lang ‘yun’,” Gordon pointed out.
(There’s this democratic space in this issue with ABS-CBN, we have narrowed the democratic space that it is dangerous if you are critical and Congress is being empowered that it can scare: They can say “Your franchise is nearing its end” or “we will cancel your franchise because it’s just a privilege.”)
On Friday, 70 lawmakers voted to approve the technical working group’s report recommending the rejection of ABS-CBN’s application for another 25-year franchise. Meanwhile, 11 lawmakers voted to disapprove the report while two inhibited and one abstained.
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