The UP College of Mass Communication (UP-CMC), College Editors Guild of the Philippines (CEGP), students of Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), and Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines (FOCAP) all expressed their support for ABS-CBN against the quo warranto case filed by the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) at the Supreme Court last Monday (Feb 10).
In a statement released by UP-CMC, they pointed out that the SolGen’s action was a deliberate move to silence the media, just like during the Martial Law era, and that citizens should be more vigilant to avoid history from repeating itself.
“In filing a quo warranto [case] against ABS-CBN, the current administration demonstrates the lengths that they will go to silence critical media voices,” UP-CMC said. “We need a free press [to be] the public’s watchdog of inept, abusive and corrupt governance.”
The CEGP also condemned the administration for its continuous attacks on press freedom and vowed to stand by ABS-CBN and its thousands of employees.
“The Guild and its member publications vowed to defend ABS-CBN in defense of press freedom and its thousands of workers. We will be true to our mandate — to deliver to the people the truth they deserve,” the alliance shared in a statement.
FOCAP, on the other hand, referred to ABS-CBN as a “pillar of the media industry” and praised its efforts against corruption for decades.
“Our ABS-CBN colleagues have been on the frontlines of every major breaking news in the country. They have chronicled history, and continue to hold power to account,” the group stated.
According to The Communicator, PUP’s official student publication, ABS-CBN has been the home for PUP alumni who are working in the media industry, and the network’s possible shutdown would cause serious impact in their lives.
“If the company’s franchise is not renewed, it will be forced to massively downsize its more than 10,000-strong workforce. That would cost a lot of people their jobs, jeopardizing even our alumni and impacting the working sector in the media industry,” The Communicator pointed out.
The Economic Journalists Association of the Philippines (EJAP) are also in support for the ABS-CBN’s franchise renewal and made a plea to the Congress to tackle the case immediately.
“EJAP hopes that Congress will exercise its independence… to ensure a more dynamic free flow of information for the benefit of a better-informed citizenry and robust Philippine democracy,” the association said.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN answered the allegations of the OSG and said that it did not violate any law. The network claimed that it complied with all the pertinent laws governing its franchise and secured all the necessary government and regulatory approvals for its business operations.