Philippine religious superiors back campaign for ABS-CBN franchise

Philippine religious superiors back campaign for ABS-CBN franchise

September 27, 2020

Manila, Philippines

The Association of Major Religious Superiors in the Philippines called on the faithful to help broadcast network ABS-CBN get a new legislative franchise through a signature campaign.

“If our politicians have failed us, the collective Filipino people will take action. We will take action,” read a statement released by the religious organization on September 24.

“The AMRSP requests the Catholic faithful to sign up and help ABS-CBN get a legislative franchise directly through the people,” it added.

The religious group also called on all religious congregations to provide “logistical support” to ensure the success of the initiative.

In its statement, the AMRSP said the closure of ABS-CBN is an “affront” to the Filipinos’ Constitutional Rights under the 1987 Philippine Constitution, particularly the right to free expression.

“Information, the lifeblood of media and journalism, at any time in a democracy, especially during a national and world crisis, is the nation’s connection to life and freedom,” said the group.

“ABS-CBN, in varied media forms, projected the stories of poor people, the heroism of Filipinos, the injustices on faceless Filipinos. Needless to state, the Filipinos need ABS-CBN,” added the AMRSP.

The group said that if ever there were lapses in giving information or in addressing legal issues, these matters should be handled by the management and interested parties that claim to serve the people.

The AMRSP expressed sympathy to the employees of ABS-CBN who lost their jobs due to the company’s closure.

Launched in July, the signature campaign aims to gather seven million signatures to grant ABS-CBN a “people’s franchise” and to allow it “to operate and maintain, for commercial purposes and in the public interest, radio and/or television broadcasting stations in the Philippines, including a digital television system.'”

On July 10, the House Committee on Legislative Franchises adopted the recommendation of its technical working group to reject the bills seeking to grant ABS-CBN a new franchise.

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