Local artists: No to ABS-CBN closure; renew network’s franchise
MANILA, Philippines — The Concerned Artists’ of the Philippines (CAP) has expressed its support to media giant ABS-CBN and urged Congress to immediately renew its franchise as the network faces the possibility of a shutdown.
In a Facebook post on Monday, CAP appealed to members, allies, and fellow artists to sign the petition initiated by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) via change.org, calling on Congress to renew ABS-CBN’s franchise, which is set to expire on March 30 this year.
CAP likewise urged actors, whether from the Kapamilya network or from other networks, to “wield their influence for the common good and encourage more Filipinos to rally against what NUJP describes as a ‘rape of democracy’.”
DEMOCRACY IN CRISISSolidarity against the ABS-CBN shutdown!Concerned Artists of the Philippines January 20, 2020We…
Celebrities like Anne Curtis, Vice Ganda, and Jolina Magdangal-Escueta earlier shared the petition and even rallied fans to back ABS-CBN.
“This simple gesture is better than sitting silently in the face of brazen attacks against our Constitutional right to a free and independent press,” CAP said. “Through this petition, let us join the call to put pressure on Congress to stop pandering to the childish whims of President Rodrigo Duterte.”
“Our representatives must understand that the threat to ABS-CBN’s future is not only a threat to the future of its thousands of employees and talents but also a threat to our democracy and freedom that they are bound to safeguard,” the group added.
CAP then slammed Duterte, saying he “ridicules democracy as an act of retaliation.”
Duterte has repeatedly said he will block the franchise of ABS-CBN, as the network allegedly committed “violations.”
The President even told the Lopez family, who owns the company, to just sell it off.
“If it isn’t already obvious, Duterte is following the track of Ferdinand Marcos who also hit back against the critical press by ordering its immediate padlock after the declaration of Martial Law,” the group said.
CAP further warned that if reports of Davao-based businessman Dennis Uy, a Duterte ally, forcibly taking ownership of the company are true, “history will repeat itself” for ABS-CBN.
Uy previously said that he has no plans to buy ABS-CBN.
Duterte, CAP said, is “trying to copy Marcos’ blueprint of authoritarianism and crony capitalism.”
“Learning from his disgraced idol, he knows well that crippling mass media is the first move towards gaining supreme power,” it pointed out.
“But we will never let this happen. We will never let the specter of dictatorship live again. Be counted among those who refuse to forget what freedom is,” CAP said.
Edited by KGA
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