Reactions to Congress’s rejection of ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal

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The House of Representatives denied ABS-CBN’s franchise application, voting 70 to 11. Several senators and organizations took to Twitter to react:

• Senator Risa Hontiveros condemned the “politicking” that took place with the issue, claiming that the rejection of the renewal creates a chilling effect on Filipino media.

• Senator Sonny Angara lauded the 11 congress members that voted “no” to the denial for a franchise renewal.

• Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago said that one does not have to be a Kapamilya member to fight for justice and democracy.

• Carlos Conde, Researcher at Human Rights Watch covering the Philippines, provided context, reminding the public that President Rodrigo R. Duterte’s contempt for the TV network was well-known.

• Human Rights Watch Philippines called the move a “grievous assault on press freedom.”

• The National Union of Journalists in the Philippines said that the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress of the Philippines “declared itself enemy of democracy.”

• Statement of ABS-CBN President and CEO Carlo Katigbak:

We are deeply hurt that the Committee on Legislative Franchises has denied the franchise application of ABS-CBN. We believe that we have been rendering service that is meaningful and valuable to the Filipino public. Nevertheless, we would like to thank the Committee for allowing us a chance to air our side on all the issues raised against us.

ABS-CBN would like to thank all the congressmen who stood by their bills to renew our franchise, or who spoke out on our behalf during the hearings. We are forever grateful.

We also thank everyone who expressed their support and offered their prayers for us. We could not have gotten to this point without you.

We remain committed to public service, and we hope to find other ways to achieve our mission. Together with our employees and our audiences all over the world, we share in your sadness over this setback. We look forward to the day when we can again reunite under our broadcast. Mga Kapamilya, thank you for keeping the faith with us.

Kapit lang, muling magliliwanag ang kwento ng bawat Pilipino.

Not all reactions were on the side of ABS-CBN.

• Jay Sonza, former broadcaster, congratulated the House of Representatives.

Mabuhay ang House of Representatives, Committee on Legislative Franchises, Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability and the men and women of Congress.

• Malou Tiquia, policy analyst and political strategist, offered a Latin phrase that translates to “the work is completed.”

Opus efficitur. Remember the date, 07102020. #Boom