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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.

NUJP to hold nationwide candle-lighting activities for press freedom

(UPDATED)

National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) chapters all over the Philippines will hold candle-lighting activities later today, Friday, February 28, to press for media freedom and the franchise renewal of embattled media network ABS-CBN.

To coincide with a mini-concert infront of ABS-CBN’s headquarters in Quezon City are candle-lighting activities in the network’s stations in General Santos City, Davao City, Cagayan de Oro City, and Zamboanga City in Mindanao.

The island-wide coordinated activity marks the start of similar actions in support and solidarity with ABS-CBN reporters and media workers, the NUJP said.

A similar activity will be held in the network’s Northern Luzon stations in Baguio City and Dagupan City, as well as in Bacolod and Iloilo cities in the Visayas.

NUJP Bacolod and Iloilo chapters have started their protest actions several weeks ago and both have complained of surveillance by suspected military intelligence personnel during and after their activities.

NUJP chapters in Sorsogon, Surigao del Sur and Batangas shall also hold activities in support of the press freedom campaign.

In Quezon City, NUJP and its allied organizations as well as ABS-CBN workers and supporters will hold a mini-concert as part of its seventh consecutive Friday protests.

The NUJP started their protest actions against threats to block the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise last January 17 after reports that Solicitor General Jose Calida was set to file a quo warranto petition against the network.

Calida eventually filed the petition this month as well as a gag order petition in a bid to stop network representatives from publicly commenting on the issue.

The NUJP has since conducted and led 11 activities that compelled both Malacañan Palace and Congress to address concerns of harassments.

The group said its call for ABS-CBN franchise renewal is in defense of press freedom and the jobs of the network’s 11 thousand workers.

In a Senate hearing last February 24, ABS-CBN chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak apologized for “hurting” President Rodrigo Duterte’s feelings but explained that the network failed to broadcast PhP7 million worth of campaign advertisements in 2016 only due to election rules.

Duterte last Wednesday publicly accepted the network’s apology that prompted legislators to call on House of Representatives Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano to schedule hearings for bills on ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

White Friday Protest: Libu-libong suporta para sa ABS-CBN

Nagsagawa ng White Friday Protest noong Pebrero 21 ang mga empleyado, tagasuporta, mga mamamahayag at artista ng ‘Kapamilya’ network na ABS-CBN. Ito ay para ipakita ang kanilang pagkakaisa laban sa panggigipit ng gobyerno at para sa kalayaan sa pamamahayag.

Libu-libo ang nakiisa at naglunsad ng isang candle lighting sa paligid ng compound ng network sa Quezon City. Ito ang kauna-unahan sa kasaysayan na nagsagawa ng rali ang isang buong media netowrk para ipatanggol ang sarili. Inumpisahan ng National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, Altermidya, Photojournalists Center of the Philippines, Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, Makabayan at ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees Union ang unang pagkilos para ipagtanggol ang network mula sa banta mula sa administrasyon ni Rodrigo Duterte.

Isang buwan at kalahati matapos ito, dumami na ang sumasamang nagtatanggol sa network at naglabasan na rin ang empleyado ng ABS-CBN. (Bidyo ni: Joseph Cuevas/ Kodao)

NUJP submits list of petitioners for ABS-CBN franchise renewal to Congress

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) submitted to the House of Representatives (HOR) about 200 thousand signatures urging Congress to act on the 11 bills for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise last Wednesday, 19 February.

In a press conference at the HOR’s media center, the media group submitted to Bayan Muna Representative Karlos Ysagani Zarate about eight thousand signatures as well as a flash drive containing nearly 200 thousand signatures it gathered since it launched the petition signing campaign in January when plans by the Office of the Solicitor General to file a quo warranto petition were reported last January.

“The NUJP is undertaking this petition signing to show support to the authors of the 11 franchise bills and urge the [HOR} Committee on Legislative Franchises to schedule their discussion,” the group said.

Prior to the press conference, NUJP officers submitted the same lists to Committee of Legislative Franchises chairperson Rep. Franz Alvarez, as well as Representatives Edcel Lagman, Vilma Santos-Recto and the committee secretariat.

“We need not remind Congress that the network’s franchise expires on March 30 and that the First Regular Session [of the 18th Congress] only has a little more than a dozen session days [to act on the bills],” the NUJP said.

In urging Congress to pass ABS-CBN’s franchise, the media group said it has the welfare of 11 thousand network workers who are fear for their jobs.

NUJP urged Congress to be independent on the issue and give the embattled network due process.

NUJP officers submit list of petitioners to Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman who authored one of the bills for the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.

NUJP said the petition signing aims to gather one million signatures and are still ongoing.

It revealed that the signatures are being gathered during their regular Friday night activities near ABS-CBN as well as in schools and communities.

They are assisted by other media groups such as Altermidya, College Editors Guild of the Philippines, Photojournalists Center of the Philippines, Defend Jobs Philippines, ABS-CBN Rank and File Employees Union, among other groups.

The group is set to submit the same lists to Senator Grace Poe, chairperson of both the Senate committees on public information and public services, on Thursday, February 20.

Zarate thanked NUJP “for the show of support” urging Alvarez and Speaker Allan Peter Cayetano to listen to the petitioners.

Zarate and fellow Makabayan bloc members are among the authors of the bills. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)

(Disclosure: The author, currently NUJP deputy secretary general, was among the media group officers who turned over the list of petitioners.)

NUJP agrees with Robin vs contractualization but vows to defend ABS-CBN jobs

The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) said it agrees with actor Robin Padilla in deploring contractualization and reiterated its call to end the practice in all its forms.

Reacting to Padilla’s comment on media giant ABS-CBN’s franchise problems, the NUJP said it is one with the million of irregular works who are still waiting for the practice to be totally eliminated.

“That is why we also challenge government to make contractualization and all its iterations absolutely illegal as the President repeatedly promised in the past. The millons of contractual workers and the NUJP are still waiting,” the media group said in a statement Friday, February 14.

Padilla said ABS-CBN franchise renewal advocates must take the opportunity to compel the entertainment industry to change its working state.

“Gusto niyo pala itama ang mali, aba’y umpisahan natin sa una. Pag-usapan muna natin ang tamang sweldo, benepisyo at tamang oras ng trabaho ng mga kasama natin sa taping at shooting. Bago niyo ipaglaban ang karapatan ng kumpanya, unahin niyo ‘yung tao ng kumpanya na kasama niyo sa bawat araw sa location at ‘wag niyo proteksyunan lang ang regular employees. Paano ‘yung hindi regular?” the Philippine Star quoted Padilla to have said.

(If you want to correct a wrong, let us start from the beginning. Let us talk first about our co-workers’ just salaries, benefits, and the length of time our co-workers during tapings and shoots. Before you defend the company, you look first at your co-workers at locations. Do not just protect the regular workers. How about the irregular ones?)

Padilla said he is against ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal but called on fellow artists defending the media company to “be real.”

“Magpagamit muna kayo sa mahihirap, sa mga taong nagdala sa inyo sa kasikatan bago sa mga mayayaman,” Padilla, a known supporter of President Rodrigo Duterte, added.

(Be in solidarity with the poor first, those who helped you become famous, before the rich ones.)

Duterte has repeatedly threatened to block ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal.

Duterte’s solicitor general filed petitions before the Supreme Court questioning how ABS-CBN implemented two of its franchises, a move the NUJP is politically motivated.

In agreeing with Padilla on the contractualization issue, the NUJP however asked if the actor issued his statement in defense of current moves to close the company down.

“Doing so may be likened to sinking an entire ship, bringing the entire crew and passengers down along with it, rather than compeling its owners and captain to do right by everyone,” the NUJP said.

The group said they fear for the massive loss of livelihood if ABS-CBN would be shutdown as well as the closure of a media company it adds is an attack to press freedom.

NUJP has repeatedly called for an end to labor-only contracting by the entire media industry in the Philippines. # (Raymund B. Villanueva)