Ex-VP Binay: ABS-CBN closure left ‘noticeable void’ other networks yet to fill
MANILA, Philippines — The shutdown of media network giant ABS-CBN, including its radio and regional network operations, has left a “noticeable void” in information distribution during the onslaught of Super Typhoon Rolly that other networks are yet to provide, former Vice President Jejomar Binay said Monday.
His remarks come after Rolly battered several parts of the country over the weekend.
Binay cited the media’s role of providing prompt and relevant information even to distant areas that are beyond the immediate reach of government that could “spell the difference between life and death.”
He then noted that prior to ABS-CBN’s closure, the country’s largest broadcasting company was able to serve residents in remote areas “through timely updates and alerts from authorities.”
“Sadly, the closure of ABS CBN, including its radio and regional network, has left a noticeable void that has yet to be filled by the other networks,” Binay said in a statement posted on his Facebook and Twitter accounts.
STATEMENT OF FORMER VICE PRESIDENT JEJOMAR C.BINAY
ON THE CLOSURE OF ABS-CBN AND THE CONSEQUENCES ON ACCESS TO INFORMATION DURING NATURAL CALAMITIES
The onslaught of Typhoon Rolly has once again reminded us of the indispensable role of media during times of natural calamities. pic.twitter.com/weHLZaOtzi
— Jejomar C. Binay (@JojoCBinay) November 2, 2020ADVERTISEMENT
In July, a House of Representatives committee shot down ABS-CBN Corp.’s bid for another 25-year franchise.
READ: House panel closes down ABS-CBN
On Sunday, as Rolly assaults the Bicol Region and other nearby areas, netizens pointed out how ABS-CBN – with its wide network reach – could have been useful in the dissemination of important information on the super typhoon, which has been dubbed as the world’s strongest so far this year.
READ: Super Typhoon Rolly bares ‘information gap’ left by ABS-CBN shutdown
Although Binay has had a complicated relationship with ABS-CBN over the years, especially when he faced multiple corruption allegations, he backed the broadcast network’s franchise renewal.
“This early, there are anecdotal stories of residents who were caught off-guard, unaware of the super typhoon’s destructive nature, and orders from local authorities to evacuate,” the former Vice President continued.
“This experience should give us all a vital lesson. That political decisions, especially those intended to exact a steep price for criticisms of government policies and personalities or to redress a real or imagined personal insult, can have far-reaching and even tragic consequences on the lives of ordinary Filipinos,” he added.
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