May 5, 2020
Reference: Yves Nibungco, Malaya Movement, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Malaya Movement stands in solidarity with ABSCBN, the journalists and its workers. echoes the demands to the NTC to rescind its “cease and desist” order. We hold Duterte, together with his minions, directly accountable for this recent attack on press freedom. We call on the Filipino people to defend press freedom and democracy against Duterte’s dictatorship.
On May 5, a few days after International Press Freedom Day, the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) served ABS-CBN a cease-and-desist order less than a month after the NTC permitted ABS-CBN to continue to operate until June 2022. This sudden change from the NTC comes in light of a global pandemic and public health crisis that is being neglected and used as a pretense for a Duterte-style martial law.
ABS-CBN is one of the largest radio and television broadcasters in the archipelago, serving as one of the main sources of news and entertainment for millions of Filipinos, and during this current COVID-19 public health crisis, access to timely and accurate information is a matter of life and death. As millions are already out of work due to COVID-19-related impacts on the economy, the shutdown of ABS-CBN will also mean unemployment for 11,000 workers.
Let it be clear to everyone. Duterte must be held accountable for this most recent attack on press freedom and the people’s right to information. As early as April 2017 and as recently as November 2019, Duterte has vowed to shut down ABSCBN. Now, due to massive outrage, Duterte and his minions are trying to wash their hands and distance themselves from this issue. Duterte seeks to bully ABS-CBN and other media practitioners into becoming a mouthpiece for his dictatorship.
Historically, attacks on press freedoms have signaled heightening fascism of a regime. Like when Marcos shut down and took over ABS-CBN a day after martial law was declared in 1972. Likewise, Duterte is capitalizing on the pandemic to further his militaristic and political goals, leaving many more at risk. Not only do the Filipino people have to worry about COVID-19, they must also worry about Duterte tyrannical rule.
We’re calling on human rights advocates, press freedom defenders, and peace loving Filipinos to join us for an online emergency rally tomorrow, May 6 at 4pm PDT, 7pm EDT. Register now.