Solicitor general cites ‘highly abusive practices’
The Bacolod City chapter of the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines denounced what they characterized as a “pathetic attempt” by the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte to shut down broadcast network ABS-CBN following the quo warranto petition filed by Solicitor General Jose Calida earlier this week. Such a petition would require the network to affirm they are satisfying certain requirements as “an association which acts as a corporation within the Philippines.”
According to the union, “The latest move of the government is clearly a desperate attempt to silence the media and dissent.”
The organization is calling for protests this Friday, February 14, requesting media colleagues to wear black.
“We need to strive hard to keep our government in check and the public informed—we have to protect the people’s right to know,” the group added.
Meanwhile, Calida claims the network committed “highly abusive practices,” including alleged violations to foreign ownership laws.
The complaint also accused the network of launching their TV Plus subscription service and Kapamilya Box Office Channel without approval from the National Telecommunications Commission.
“A franchise is a special privilege granted by the state and should be restricted only to entities which faithfully adhere to our Constitution and laws,” the government official said in a statement.
Last year, House Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano claimed ABS-CBN provided “unfair air time” to certain candidates during the 2016 general election.
During the said polls, he unsuccessfully ran for vice president as Duterte’s running mate.
The network’s franchise is set to expire on March 30./WDJ