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‘Laban, Kampamilya’: Altermidya’s statement of support for the People’s Initiative for ABS-CBN franchise

STATEMENT

We, independent media outfits and journalists under the Altermidya Network, express our support to the People’s Initiative to Grant ABS-CBN a People’s Franchise or Pirma Kapamilya, a movement that seek to gather 7 million signatures for ABS-CBN.

After 70 legislators voted a death sentence for the network and its 11,000 employees, many Filipinos and press freedom advocates remain hopeful of possible avenues to grant ABS-CBN a franchise.

‘People’s Initiative’ under the 1987 Constitution grants Filipinos the power to amend the Constitution or enact laws. This procedure is governed by Republic Act 6735 or “The Initiative and Referendum Act,” along with Commission on Elections (COMELEC) Resolution No. 10650.

Under the said rules, a proposed legislation needs the signature of at least 10% of all registered voters or about 6.1 million signatures based on the total registered voters in the 2019 National Elections Record. To ensure that enough signatures are secured after the verification process, a target of 7 million registered voters has been set.

The sheer number of signatures needed is not lost on us: indeed this road is painstaking and difficult, an arduous task only aggravated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Yet at a time when those in power are relentless in eroding our rights – press freedom, our civil liberties, our right to know –we take every instance we have to defend and reclaim these rights with every risk and effort.

The campaign has only just begun, and yet paid hacks and naysayers already accuse it of being an elaborate scheme funded by so-called oligarchs. This claim conveniently ignores how it was precisely those in power who conspired to steal from the Filipino people one of their main sources of information at the height of the public health crisis.

We have underscored from the beginning that this campaign is not a move to protect mere corporate interests. It is an assertion by the Filipino people who cannot tolerate abuses to our constitutionally-guaranteed right to press freedom and free expression.

The road may be difficult but the initiative is a form of taking back the power of the phrase “we, the sovereign Filipino people” enshrined in the 1987 Constitution. As we have always said and done in the past, we will fight back, together for press freedom, for the people’s to know, and for democracy.

Laban, Kapamilya!

‘Hindi natin kailangan ng consuelo de bobo’

“Hindi natin kailangan ng consuelo de bobo sa panahong ito ng pandemya at malawak na kagutuman. Ang kailangan ng manggagawa ay ibalik sa kanila ang kanilang trabaho. Ibalik ang ABS-CBN!

The committee knew fully well that denying ABS-CBN’s franchise would lead to thousands of workers unemployed which will further monkey wrench our already dwindling economy. But they did it anyway without a shred of truth – all just to please President Duterte in his wish to bring down the Kapamilya network.”Hon. Ferdinand Gaite, Representative, Bayan Muna Party List

‘Ma, hanggang August 31 na lang po ako sa ABS’

“Ma, hanggang August 31 na lang po ako sa ABS.

Sa halos limang taon ko bilang Kapamilya, ‘di ko inasahan na sasabihin ko ito sa aking pamilya.

Hindi lang trabaho ang kinuha nila sa amin. Pangarap at kinabukasan. ‘Yun ang ninakaw sa amin. I’ve worked so hard for this. ‘Di ko naman nakuha ‘to sa isang iglap lang eh. Pero sa isang iglap lang, mawawala na ang lahat. Hindi kayo makatao.

Ako, #KapamilyaForever. Kayo, hindi forever. #ManiningilAngKasaysayan” — Jon Montesa, Brand Communication Manager, ABS-CBN

‘Ito ba ang kapalit ng pagboto namin kay Duterte?’

“Sa totoo lang po, aaminin ko sa lahat na talagang ibinoto ko ang Pangulong Duterte. ‘Yung mga kasamahan natin sa probinsiya, sa RNG (regional network group), ibinoto din siya.

Ito ba ang kapalit ng aming pagboto sa kaniya? Kikitilin ang aming hanapbuhay? Gugutumin ang aming pamilya? Hindi na kami makatulong sa aming mga kamag-anak at kapatid at magulang? Sobrang masakit po.” — Raul de Asis, President, ABS-CBN
Supervisory Employees Union

Rep. Carlos Zarate’s summation on the ABS-CBN franchise renewal

09 June 2020, House of Representatives — Speaking in behalf of representatives in favor of the embattled media network’s bid for a fresh franchise, Rep. Zarate called on the rest of the members of the House of Representatives Committee on Legislative Franchises to vote for the people.

Zarate recounted several testimonials from ordinary people on how the mass media, particulary ABS-CBN, have served at the forefront during disasters and calamities, providing vital information for Filipinos in country and abroad.

He added that almost all Filipinos are affected by the ABS-CBN shutdown, as they depend on the network for news, current affairs and other pulic services.

“Bakit natin paparusahan at supilin maging ang karapatan ng pamamahayag at karapatan ng ating mga mamamayan sa malayang daloy ng impormasyon?” Zarate asked. (Video from the HOR page)