ABS-CBN, despite being franchise-less, continues to be always in the “service of the Filipino”.
On July 9, Friday, the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), together with ABS-CBN, led a live stream on Facebook called “Franchise Denied, Press Forward”. It was hosted by Kapamilya broadcasters Alvin Elchico and Zen Hernandez.
As ABS-CBN, the largest broadcasting network in the country, continues to be off the air, its employees, particularly those in the Public Affairs department, are making a stand today to liberate press freedom and once again fight for the Network’s return to free TV.
The Network’s shutdown in May 2020 had a huge impact, especially on its News department. Before its closure, ABS-CBN used to have 80 regional stations that deliver news and entertainment across the country. But because the Government rejected its franchise renewal bid, the Kapamilya Network had no choice but to shut its regional stations.
Even after ABS-CBN managed to return on free TV via A2Z and TV5, the Network’s News department remains online and on cable, with its regional stations remained closed.
This hinders the public from access to information since ABS-CBN, before the shutdown, had the widest reach among the broadcasting stations in the Philippines.
Despite the loss of its franchise, and the loss of its regional stations, ABS-CBN continues to move forward.
The live stream showed how resilient Kapamilya journos are in their pursuit of truth to bring information to Filipinos. With or without a franchise, they continue to serve the public, the ABS-CBN “way”.
The event had notable speakers such as Kaloi Zarate, John Nery, Ted Te, Rommel Lopez, ABS-CBN Rank, and File Employee’s Union, and Defend Jobs Philippines.
Other than them, Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino, Students from the Trinity University of Asia and the University of the Philippines Broadcasting Association, NUJP Davao, and College Editors’ Guild of the Philippines, also made an appearance in this historical event of ABS-CBN’s pursuit of press freedom.