3 May 2020
The National Union of Journalists of the Philippines condemns the statement by the Office of the Solicitor General warning the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) against granting ABS-CBN a provisional authority (PA) to continue operating after its current franchise expires tomorrow, May 4.
Solicitor General Jose Calida issued his warning today, May 3, World Press Freedom Day. Calida threatened ABS CBN and the NTC amidst a vicious pandemic when it is quite obvious that the media could be partners in these difficult times, as they have done these past eight weeks.
It would do no good to the Filipino people if the country’s biggest media corporation, one that is relied upon by a great number of the people during this pandemic for news, entertainment and relief delivery, if it ceases operations tomorrow.
The House of Representatives earlier told the NTC to give ABS-CBN a provisional authority that it already says will finally be given due course when its sessions resume. The Department of Justice has already opined that such provisional authority would be a just measure under the circumstances.
We ask, who really speaks for this government? Is the government so blinded by its chief executive’s hatred of an entity that it dares to flaunt our nation’s collective sense of fair play, due process, and common good when the entire country grapples with a problem infinitely more pressing and dangerous?