The House of Representatives is set to vote on ABS-CBN network’s franchise after 12 joint committee hearings facilitated by the Committee on Legislative Franchises along with the Committee on Good Government and Public Accountability.

ABS-CBN’s 25-year franchise expired on 4 May 2020. On May 5, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) ordered the network to stop with operations on their regular frequencies. ANC continued on cable and some programs on the network’s social media platforms.

Twelve bills for the renewal of franchise were filed with the 18th Congress. But the Committee which oversees the process only began discussing the pending bills for ABS-CBN after the network was forced to close down. The hearings on the issue leaned heavily on complaints about the unfavourable coverage that some of the members of the House had received from the news programs.

The Freedom for Media, Freedom for All (FMFA) network believes that citizens should have a say about this issue as the closure of one of the largest networks in the country has disrupted the flow of news and information and the availability of entertainment that have become a part of their lives. It is important for Filipinos to know how these representative will decide on ABS-CBN’s franchise bid. #


[Images by the Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism]

‘Para kanino ang pagpapasara sa ABS-CBN?’

Ito ang tanong ng mga lumahok sa isinagawang motorcade at rali noong Lunes, Hulyo 6, ng mga nananawagan sa bagong prangkisa ng ABS-CBN.

Sa huling araw ng pagdinig ng Kongreso sa mga petisyon para sa pagpapatuloy na operasyon ng kumpanya, nagpunta ang mga empleyado at kanilang mga taga-suporta sa Kamara de Representante upang manawagan na huwag tuluyang isara ito.

Sa pangunguna ng National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, nagdaos ng programa sa kahabaan ng Batasan Avenue ang Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Makabayan Bloc, SENTRO, Kilusang Mayo Uno, Photojournalism Center of the Philippines, Free the Artist Movement, National Association of Broadcast Unions, at mga unyon ng manggagawa ng ABS-CBN, IBC-13 at GMA-7.

Antoinette Jadaone: “Ang laban ng ABS-CBN ay laban ko rin”

“Ang laban ng ABS-CBN ay laban ko rin. Ang laban ng mga inarestong Pride
protester, kahit ‘di ka man LGBT, ay laban din natin. Ang laban ng mga jeepney driver, kahit ’di tayo driver, laban din natin. Ang laban ng mga aktibista, ng mga OFW, laban natin. DAHIL IISANG BANGKA TAYO.”
Antoinette Jadaone, Film Maker

A full-blown dictatorship is made more palpable

“With the conviction of Ressa and Santos, the shutdown of ABS-CBN, the killings and threats against journalists, the numerous violations faced by Filipinos on a daily basis and the passage of the terror bill, a full-blown dictatorship is made more palpable.”–Cristina Palabay, Karapatan secretary general

Statement condemning NTF-ELCAC’s black propaganda against ABS-CBN and Maria Ressa

10 May 2020

We, media groups, news outfits, journalists, and academics, condemn the National Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) for a black propaganda offensive on social media against ABS-CBN and Rappler CEO Maria Ressa.

These Facebook posts, while they have been taken down, are a brazenly criminal abuse of authority on the part of the NTF-ELCAC, replete with half-truths and outright lies that willfully endanger Maria and the management and personnel of the network that government shut down.

The only reason we can think of why a government entity tasked to combat the communist insurgency would wage a propaganda offensive against media persons and outfits is if government now considers us the enemy.

In fact, Lieutenant General Antonio Parlade, NTF-ELCAC spokesman and Southern Luzon Command chief, indicated as much. In a May 8 Philippine News Agency report, while insisting that press freedom was alive in this country, also warned critics of the ABS-CBN shutdown: “Yes to law and order! Otherwise you might just get the martial law that you deserve.”

Worse, the Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) aided in the slander by sharing these posts on its own page, although it later took these down, apparently after generating backlash from netizens.

While Communications Secretary Martin Andanar issued a statement saying the NTF-ELCAC posts were shared “without the usual vetting process of our office” and were “not in any way an official statement or an opinion of the PCOO,” neither did he apologize for his agency’s involvement nor even promise an investigation to identify those responsible for this reprehensibly irresponsible action.

We demand that government, including the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP), immediately mount an investigation into who in the NTF-ELCAC were responsible for ordering and creating the slanderous posts and why.

At a time when our people are battling a deadly pandemic, it is extremely unacceptable that there are those in government who are making media repression, not saving lives, as the priority. #

(Signed by hundreds of organizations and individuals as of May 12, 2020. For a full list, click this link.)

Press freedom advocates hold black screen broadcast protests over ABS-CBN shutdown

By Sanafe Marcelo

The #BlackScreenBroadcast happened Friday evening, May 8, as press freedom advocates and rights groups held a two-hour black screen broadcast until 10 pm to denounce the National Telecommunications Commission’s (NTC) cease and desist order against ABS-CBN.

Groups such as the University of the Philippines Film Institute, the Altermidya Network and the Concerned Artists of the Philippines took to Facebook to broadcast a black screen symbolizing the sign off the media giant was forced to undergo by the Rodrigo Duterte government.

“As ABS-CBN shuts down, we go live in the dark. Imagine what a world would look like without freedom of expression. A world without stories, without conversations, without the exchange of ideas, without the checking of truth. Imagine not being able to imagine. When the powerful reign. When critics are silent. When the world goes dark. So tonight, we go live in the dark,” the group explained.

The online protest was in solidarity with ABS-CBN, to condemn the shutdown of the network and fight against the attack on press freedom.

Also on Friday night, the group Dakila, together with other press freedom advocates, launched the petition “Channel our Light; Solidarity statement of the Arts, Media and s Community” that garnered 781 signatures as of press time.

“The shutting down of the country’s largest media network, the attacks on the independent press, the orchestrated spread of disinformation, and the killings of journalists all lay down a worrying pattern of repression and conditions for more hardship. In effect, we are deprived of accessible, credible, and accurate information and our right to speak truth to power, both crucial to saving lives,’ Dakila said in the petition

The protest actions has started in January, led by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, when news of plans by the Office of the Solicitor General to contest the network’s continued operations was first published.

The group led different protest actions worldwide that stopped when the corona virus lockdown started.

When ABS-CBN was finally forced to stopped broadcasting on free television and radio, however, the protest actions resumed.

Last Tuesday and Friday, the NUJP also held simultaneous online protests. #

‘Bayan Ko’ Community Singing

Bilang pakikiisa sa naganap na ‘No to ABS-CBN Shutdown’ online protest kahapon, Mayo 8, nag-alay ng isang awitin ang mga progresibo mula sa iba’t ibang sektor.


Mga umawit:
Dang Turda
Xandra Bisenio
Louie Mercader
Jam Bonifacio
Taj Catangcatang
Romie Malonzo
Patricia Marleni Malonzo
Justine Nicole Malonzo
Alyana Cabral
Roselle Pineda
Antonio Tinio
Julius Cainglet
Benjamin Valbuena
Rep. Carlos Isagani Zarate
Lou Mendez
Renato Reyes, Jr.
Dr. Geneve Rivera-Reyes
Philip Joven
Dessa Ilagan
Save our School Network
Atty. Jobert Pahilga
Sarah Raymundo
Jessie Barcelon
Niceza Ritual

Edit ni Avon Ang
Instrumental na tugtog ni Andres Bisenio

Altermidya – People’s Alternative Media Network
Concerned Artists of the Philippines
International Association of Women in Radio and Television – Philippines
Let’s Organize for Democracy and Integrity

Pagpapasara sa ABS-CBN, tinutulan ng mga mag-aaral at guro ng UP

Kinondena ng mga mag-aaral at guro ng Unibersidad ng Pilipinas ang pagpapasara ng ABS-CBN sa isang kilos protesta sa harapan ng Kolehiyo ng Pangmadlang Komunikasyon sa Diliman, Lungsod Quezon noong Biyernes, Mayo 8.

Ayon sa mga nagprotesta, hindi ang media kundi si President Rodrigo Duterte ang dapat na patigilin sa pag-atake sa malayang pamamahayag at malayang ekspresyon.

Ang pagkilos ay kasabay ng iba’t-bang kilos protesta sa buong bansa na tinaguriang “Black Friday Protests” na pinapangunanan ng mga organisasyon tulad ng Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Movement Against Tyranny, Altermidya, Concerned Artists of the Philippines, National Union of Journalists of the Philippines at iba pa.

Tumigil ang brodkas ng ABS-CBN noong Martes, Mayo 5, sa libreng telebisyon matapos pagbawalan ito ng National Telecommunications Commission dahil napaso na ang prangkisa ng network noong Lunes. Maraming beses na pinagbantaan ni Duterte na ipapasara niya ang network. Inupuan sa Kongreso ng mga kaalyado ng presidente ang maraming panukalang batas sa bagong prangkisa ng pinakamalaking media network sa Pilipinas. (Bidyo ni Jek Alcaraz/Kodao)

‘Wala sa katuwiran’

“Ito ay wala sa katuwiran at pag-atake rin sa kalayaan sa pamamahayag. Ang ABS-CBN ay isang news organization. Hindi nila kasalanan na mapaso ang kanilang franchise dahil matagal na silang naghihintay na mapag-usapan ang kanilang petisyon para sa renewal. Inipit-ipit ng mga lider ng Kongreso na sumusunod sa kanilang prinsipal kaya inabot na ng ganito.”

Raymund Villanueva
Deputy Secretary General,
National Union of Journalists of the Philippines

Carlo Francisco

Itanong Mo Kay Prof: ABS-CBN Franchise at PhilHealth Issues

Panayam ng Kodao Productions kay Prof. Jose Maria Sison sa pamamagitan ni Prof. Sarah Raymundo ng BAYAN National hinggil sa isyu ng ABS-CBN franchise at pagpapanukala ng PhilHealth Circular No. 2020-0014 o ang 3% mandatory contribution sa mga OFWs.