Department of Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla denied that the Philippine government ordered the shutdown of broadcast giant ABS-CBN.
During the continuation of the review of the Philippines by the UN Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland–one of the topics raised by the UNHRC was the 2020 shutdown of the ABS-CBN. It was perceived worldwide as upfront to the freedom of the press.
On the ABS-CBN issue earlier asked in the UN-HRC meeting, Justice Sec. Remulla denies the Philippine government ordered the shutdown of the network, says Congress denied their renewal of license to air on free TV, says they are still allowed to broadcast online. pic.twitter.com/0islIez3st
— Raffy Tima (@raffytima) October 11, 2022
On Twitter, in a report by Raffy Tima shared on Tuesday, October 11, Remulla, the head of the Philippine delegation, denied the claim saying the Network was not shut down but failed to pass its renewal application in Congress.
“The ABS-CBN news network was not shut down, but congress had not granted the Network permission to use broadcast airwaves because it had abused its privilege to use those airwaves.”
Remulla was one of the four congressmen who led the killing of the ABS-CBN franchise in Congress with Rodante Marcoleta, Mike Defensor, and Elpidio Barzaga.
During the committee hearing at the House Committee on Legislative Franchises, Remulla was at the forefront of the opposition against the Kapamilya network’s franchise renewal despite different statements from government resources saying ABS-CBN did not violate any provisions of its franchise.
No less former President Rodrigo Duterte on several occasions also admitted that he used presidential powers to shut down ABS-CBN free-to-air broadcast.
“Kaya tinira ko talaga sila (ABS-CBN). Talagang I used the presidential powers to tell Congress that you are dealing with scoundrels and if you continue to kowtow with them, kawawa ang Pilipino,” said Duterte during a speech in Davao City in June 2022.
“Yun namang ABS-CBN, binaboy ako. Pero sinabi ko, ‘pag ako ang nanalo, bubuwagin ko ang oligarchy ng Pilipinas. Ginawa ko without declaring martial law, sinira ko ýung mga tao na humahawak sa ekonomiya at umiipit at hindi nagbabayad,” Duterte during a speech in Sulu in July 2020.
Meanwhile, despite losing its broadcast franchise, ABS-CBN remained a viable source of entertainment, news and information via its digital platforms and block time agreements.
ABS-CBN shows are currently flourishing on Kapamilya Online Live on Youtube and A2Z Channel 11 and TV5.
Also, the Kapamilya network, succeeded in securing content distribution agreements with several online streaming platforms like iQIYI, Viu, and Netflix.