BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The Sangguniang Panlungsod of Talisay City in Negros Occidental expressed solidarity with ABS-CBN following the denial of its franchise application by the House committee on legislative franchises.
The SP yesterday passed a resolution, authored by Councilor Rosalinda Tuvilla II, that said the non-renewal of the franchise of ABS-CBN is a disservice to the interest of Filipinos.
It added that the untimely shutdown of the network will bring about serious repercussions to the economy, and effectively add to the rising number of unemployed and underemployed at the time of a raging pandemic.
The non-renewal of the franchise will render the network’s 11,701 employees, talents, and service providers out of work and 70 million Filipinos will lose their source of entertainment and valuable news and information, the resolution added.
It also cited the statement of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines-Bacolod chapter that the shutdown of the broadcast network due to its perceived bias and violations is a blatant disregard for freedom of the press and an attack on independent media.
Copies of the resolution were furnished the ABS-CBN Bacolod, NUJP-Bacolod, Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas, the office of Rep. Francisco Benitez (Neg. Occ., 3rd District), the Philippine Councilors’ League-Negros Occidental chapter, and Talisay City Mayor Neil Lizares.
Meanwhile, the UNI Global Union Philippine Liaison Council (UNI-PLC) condemned in the strongest terms the refusal of the House of Representatives to grant ABS-CBN a franchise, adding that it continues to stand with its affiliate, the National Alliance of Broadcast Unions, and the ABS-CBN rank and file union in the struggle for a pro-worker franchise.
It said they will also continue to vigilantly fight for press freedom and freedom of expression.
“The issue goes beyond the refusal of the country’s legislators to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise. The larger issue is the environment of impunity and disregard for human rights that the Duterte regime fostered which resulted in the rapid deterioration of the country’s human rights condition and fueld sustained attacks on press freedom,” the group claimed.*