Kapamilya broadcaster Julius Babao could not help but share the notion that what’s happening to ABS-CBN is no longer about the expired franchise but deliberate political persecution and oppression.
In a tweet, Julius can only agree with a “Yes” to a tweet from Jerome Sicat saying “What’s happening to @ABSCBN is no longer a case of an expired franchise, but political persecution, oppression, and opportunism.”
— julius babao (@juLiusbabao) July 1, 2020
The same opinion was also tweeted by columnist Philip Lustre Jr. who said the issue has gone beyond the normal because the attack dogs of the President in Congress continue to have their heydays.
“WHAT’S happening to ABS-CBN is no longer a case of an expired franchise, but political persecution, oppression, and opportunism. It has gone beyond the normal. The attack dogs of a mentally unstable president have a heyday of what appears to be the surreal and unnatural.”
WHAT'S happening to ABS-CBN is no longer a case of an expired franchise, but political persecution, oppression, and opportunism. It has gone beyond the normal. The attack dogs of a mentally unstable president have a heyday of what appears to be the surreal and unnatural. 😳😳😳
— Philip Lustre Jr. (@IpeLustre) July 1, 2020
Even some Senators have also expressed concerns about the latest blow against ABS-CBN.
Senators Sonny Angara, Risa Hontiveros, and Kiko Pangilinan decried the unfair treatment to ABS-CBN as opposed to other broadcast companies who are in the same position.
“[It’s] very unfair given the treatment of other franchise holders whose franchises expired [but] were allowed to operate while their applications were pending with Congress,” said Angara in a report by Inquirer.
“It’s painful to watch the government [become] the cause of so much suffering and hardship for thousands of ordinary working Filipinos,” Angara tweeted.
“Especially because of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we need to uphold freedom of the press, secure the rights and welfare of workers and improve the public’s access to life-saving information,” said Sen. Hontiveros.
“The lust for power will continue unless the court or the people will end it by opposing and condemning it,” Pangilinan said.
“We should not be afraid to speak up and criticize the abuses and failure of leadership in our country,” he added.
One of the proponents of ABS-CBN franchise renewal bills, Rep. Michaela Violago, also shared an observation of NTC’s bias against ABS-CBN.
“We have repeatedly said in our committee hearings that we [in the government] should exercise fairness to all. Thus, the NTC should act on this matter to show that it is not biased in favor of any media entity,” Violago said.
“For all we know, they might also be in violation of tax or labor laws while they are seeking renewal of their franchise,” she added
The ABS-CBN franchise deliberation was already on its 11th hearing but oppositors lead by Rep. Rodante Marcoleta, Rep. Jesus Crispin Remulla, and Rep. Mike Defensor continue to belabor the issues by asking repeated questions which are eating so much time.
However, there is still no valid proof that ABS-CBN has a grave violation of their franchise.
Several gov’t agency people from DOJ, BIR, PEZA, DOLE, and even NTC said that ABS-CBN has no grievous violations against its franchise.
On the issue of Gabby Lopez citizenship, DOJ said he is 100% Filipino, on the issue of tax evasion, BIR attested that the Kapamilya network is paying their right taxes even given tax clearance each year. PEZA has also defended its accreditation of Big Dipper as PEZA compliant.
NTC meanwhile said there is no problem in terms of ABS-CBN’s multiple channel/programs in TV Plus.
“Insofar as 6 programs in 1 channel is concerned, okay po yun (they’re okay),” said NTC commissioner.
On their labor issues, while ABS-CBN acknowledges their labor cases, a recent audit of the DOLE revealed that they are compliant with labor laws.
“ABS-CBN is fully compliant with labor laws. Hindi sya nakitaan ng anumang violations,” said DOLE USec. Dione.