How can media personalities and Netizens trust that the Government will protect the media when it was the one who orchestrated the shutdown of ABS-CBN?
“Ang media po ay isa pong napakahalagang haligi ng ating demokrasya at kalayaan. Hangga’t nandito kami ay po-protektahan po natin ang ating mga mensahero at kasama na po-protektahan din po namin ang mga mensahe na iparating sa ating mga kababayan because sabi nga, ang informed people is a powerful people,” Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Usec. Joel Sy Egco said on Tuesday, July 6.
ABS-CBN, the biggest network in the Philippines, was shut down by the Duterte administration in 2020.
Nick Villavecer, producer of Rappler, noted that in four days, ABS-CBN would mark the anniversary of the day the House of Representatives (HoR) voted against its franchise renewal. Thus, he was confused about what PCOO meant by saying it will protect the media in the country.
May I remind you that in 4 days, July 10, it will be the first anniversary since the House of Representatives voted to deny ABS-CBN a new franchise. How’s that for media security under the Duterte administration? https://t.co/BKxrNXmrsv
— Nick Villavecer (@nickvillavecer) July 6, 2021
John Paul Tanyag, a market surveillance analyst, also noted how the Government closed ABS-CBN, a TV network in the Philippines.
ABS-CBN Shutdown? https://t.co/Nx9KBzB8dR
— jp✖️ plus why (@dumidyeypee) July 6, 2021
A Twitter personality even thought that Egco’s statement was meant to be a joke.
Ang tagal ng punchline. Di bale tawa na ang kami! Hahahahahahahaha! pic.twitter.com/wtJjbLhuPY
— #SyLicoNgaAko (@SyLicoNgaAko) July 6, 2021
Netizens also could not forget what the Government did to ABS-CBN.
A Netizen wanted the Administration to remember how it did not allow ABS-CBN, who was not proven guilty of any allegations, was still denied a franchise.
Nakalimutan ba ninyo na hndi niyo binigyan ng bagong prangkisa ang ABSCBN? Ang lala niyo! Nakakasuka na kayo sa mga kasinungalian at pagiging denial niyo. https://t.co/XwnBprp8PV
— Pinkcessita Ace♠ 🎀 1of15M (@lovejef08) July 6, 2021
Another netizen also did not believe Egco’s statement as, for him, it was clear who kicked ABS-CBN off the air: his boss (Pres. Duterte).
ULUL MO EGCO. BOSSING MONG PASISTA ANG NAGPASARA SA DOS. https://t.co/lsm3o2C7dc
— Kevin L. Estrada (@KevinLEstrada) July 6, 2021
A netizen also urged the government agency to “walk the talk.”
Walk the talk naman sana, hello daw sabi ng @ABSCBN.
— Kulas (@iamkulasparov) July 6, 2021
Meanwhile, Pres. Duterte was named one of the “press freedom predators” by the Reporters Without Borders, a Paris-based media watchdog.
Reporters Without Borders names PH Pres Rodrigo Duterte as one of the “press freedom predators” among global leaders — “predator since taking office” for his attacks on independent media and news orgs like PH Daily Inquirer, Rappler and ABS-CBN. https://t.co/qHr9BOyROG pic.twitter.com/Xqyx6teCaj
— Mike Navallo (@mikenavallo) July 5, 2021
This was after Duterte waged a “total war” against independent media.
The Philippine President is among 37 heads of government in the world “who crack down massively on press freedom,” according to a gallery published by Reporters Without Borders, Monday, July 5.
Furthermore, the Paris-based media watchdog has noted that Duterte has an “arsenal that he can use to wage ‘total war’ against journalists.”
“Judges who don’t toe the line are pushed aside. Congress tamely endorses all the president’s decisions. Backed by most of the private sector, Duterte easily imposes his line on media outlets owned by businessmen that support him,” the group added.