Mindanao press group mourns ABS-CBN franchise denial

DAVAO CITY: A media group here has said it mourns the decision of the  House Committee on Franchise that denies the application for another 25 years of ABS-CBN which thousands depend for their livelihood and survival

Edith “Ging” Z. Caduaya, president of Mindanao Independent Press Council Inc. (MIPCI), said in a statement, “The travesty of proceedings and the mindless theatrics of the so-called representatives of the people simply made an end to a mission that served the Filipino nation.”

The Davao-based MIPCI said it represents various media entities in Mindanao.

Caduaya said they do not just condemn the act, as it also serves as stern warning to their ranks as independent and critical purveyors of truth.

She added they do not stand for the Lopezes especially in their legal battle against the government when Meralco or Maynilad was the issue.

“But, when ABS-CBN, as a media outfit became the issue, we deemed it necessary to stand with the network, because there lies media freedom and freedom of the press,” said Caduaya..

The statement further said: “While many of us have been bashed, insulted and isolated by friends because we stand with ABS-CBN, their criticism has weaponized us to forge our links and stand together in the name of press freedom.

“While people kept on harping that the issue is not press freedom but franchise, many of them  do not see the thin line between media franchise and press freedom.

“We need not pick a fight with those who believe that the ABS-CBN issue does not entail press freedom, but it is clear to us that there was pressure amongst politicians at the lower chamber.

“Let us not be governed by hatred in the midst of this pandemic, let us show compassion amongst people.

“Lest, we stand with ABS-CBN because they deserve the franchise. Had there been breach of freedom in the line of their service to the people, or,  economic violations committed, they could have taken the measures to correct it and penalize the network if necessary.

“It is a fact, that while we stand with our colleagues at ABS-CBN who at anytime will lose their jobs.
We do not stand for the Lopezes,

“We stand for press freedom because we believe that Media Freedom is one of the basic tenets of a democratic country.

“The myopic and culture of decadence amongst politicians is a new pandemic, and, the malevolence of our elected officials is taking us all to a common graveyard if we cease to defend what is truly free and democratic.

“We stand together because we know, our existence is guaranteed in our Constitution.” (JULMUNIR I. JANNARAL)

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