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.
MANININGIL ANG KASAYSAYAN
The non-renewal of ABS-CBN sets a dangerous precedent.
Because gov’t allowed politicking in the process of renewing a legis. franchise & succeeded in shutting down a media institution,we have begun to ring the death knell of press freedom in the country
— risa hontiveros (@risahontiveros) July 10, 2020
• Senator Sonny Angara lauded the 11 congress members that voted “no” to the denial for a franchise renewal.
Kudos to the brave 11 who stood up for 11,000 Filipinos keeping their jobs and for press freedom 🙏🏽✊🏽 https://t.co/pv20j6ExfJ
— Sonny Angara (@sonnyangara) July 10, 2020
• Kabataan Representative Sarah Elago said that one does not have to be a Kapamilya member to fight for justice and democracy.
Hindi kailangan maging Kapamilya para tumindig at lumaban para sa katwiran, karapatan at demokrasya; dapat lamang gampanan ang tungkuling paglingkuran ang sambayanan. The people are not asking for much. They are calling us to perform our mandate; we have an obligation to be fair.
— Sarah Elago (@sarahelago) July 10, 2020
• 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.
Duterte’s contempt for ABSCBN is well-known. Back in Dec 2019, he promised that today’s franchise denial will happen. https://t.co/CxqZ0sBmc8
— Carlos H. Conde (@condeHRW) July 10, 2020
• Human Rights Watch Philippines called the move a “grievous assault on press freedom.”
— HRW Philippines (@hrw_ph) July 10, 2020
• 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] The will of the people will prevail
Today, July 10, 2020, the House of Representatives of the 18th Congress of the Philippines has declared itself enemy of democracy.
Today, this chamber has lost all claim to represent the people and our interests.
— NUJP (@nujp) July 10, 2020
• 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.
• Malou Tiquia, policy analyst and political strategist, offered a Latin phrase that translates to “the work is completed.”