ABS-CBN, the nation’s oldest and biggest TV station, home of hit soap operas, talent contests, love teams. Home of Ang Probinsyano who may live forever in this series. Home of that comedian who tops the box office but fails with his thinning jokes, may soon face closure.
This after the government says it will not renew its franchise for the next 25 years. And then there’s a case filed by government attack dog Calida at the Supreme Court calling for the cancellation of the franchise because of alleged illegal selling of shares to a foreign company.
This issue has divided our already divided public between pro-Duterte and pro-freedom of the press. It’s incredible that this is happening, because during Christmas, everyone sings that ABS Christmas jingle, and every night everyone watches how Probinsyano survives another episode.
I have a question for the diehards of this government, which include my friends, what is the reason for you to support the call for the ABS shutdown? Here are the most common answers online, and it still raises more questions.
A) ABS-CBN failed to air Duterte’s political ads in 2016. But Duterte did win in 2016, didn’t he? And the DDS are proud to say he won without a big media machinery behind him. So now he is thinking of payback?
B) ABS-CBN is biased against the government. Who doesn’t have bias?
The problem is not ABS because every news outfit presents the same information and questions, from what the latest is on the coronavirus and what the latest is the shocking statement of the president. The role of media here is to be a watchdog. We need media to inform us and to keep power in check. If you find this wrong, that is because you have bias to defend the government, despite its failure to stop corrupt police and officials from shuffling around the country. You may also as well defend Panelo’s fashion taste and Uson’s awful fake news.
C) ABS-CBN is anti-labor. Yes it is. Thanks to the Bad Boy and Duterte defender Robin Padilla for pointing this out. But, if the problem is that ABS refusing to regularize its workers and committed layoffs in the past, isn’t this Duterte solution of closing it down making it worse, by closing a station that has employed 6,700 regular employees, 3,200 talents and 900 non-regular workers?
And I see this same argument among the DDS when they justified the closure of Boracay and the Marawi Siege, they claim Duterte’s action is for the common good. But look where the Maranao people are now, they lost a city. Look at Boracay, government cleaned it up but now Chinese tourists are shitting on it. The people who lived and worked on these are the ones displaced. We can’t allow this to happen again.
(To be continued)