The student journalists of the College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP) expressed their support for ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal after releasing a statement on Facebook that condemned the president’s threats against the network.
According to CEGP, the president’s efforts to block the franchise renewal of ABS-CBN is a clear attack on press freedom and cited that the only reason for his rage is the network’s critical reporting of his war on drugs campaign.
“The network has been critical of the Duterte government, especially in its coverage regarding the war on drugs and so Duterte and his allies have been sacrificing the press freedom through blocking its pending case in the Congress,” they said.
“In the current Congress, wherein the majority of the officials seated are allies of Duterte, ABS-CBN is on the critical point as its franchise renewal is continued in being delayed and is set to expire at the end of March this year.”
They also likened the president to the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos for abusing his powers for his advantage.
“Duterte may be bound to follow the footsteps of his idol, the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos. As watchdogs of society whose duty is to speak truth to power, The Guild stands with ABS-CBN in defending the freedom of the press.”
Ending their statement, the alliance considered the issue a “crucial moment in our history” and called for unity to fight against the Duterte regime, just like how Filipinos fought during the martial law.
“At this crucial moment in our history, we have no other option but to resist and revolt. The Filipino people have proven to rise above a fascist dictatorship and they will not hesitate to overthrow a rabid imperialist lapdog and a drug-crazed warmongering tyrant who is drunk in power.”
Meanwhile, several officials have already submitted bills seeking ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal, including Sen. Ralph Recto, Rep. Vilma Santos, Rep. Sol Aragones, Rep. Joy Tambunting, Rep. Baby Arenas, Rep. Micaela Vialogo, and Rep. Edcel Lagman, who asked to not anymore delay the network’s franchise renewal as it “emasculates freedom of the press.”
Kapamilya stars have also shared their sentiments over the issue, including Sharon Cuneta and Liza Soberano, who both hope for the president to rethink his position for the benefit of the thousands of employees who will potentially lose their jobs if the network shuts down.