Open letter to the owners and workers of ABS-CBN

The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) joins you in these difficult times as you confront the slew of questionable legal attacks which have prevented ABS-CBN from exercising press freedom and denied the people their right to information; as well as infringe upon your commercial prerogative to provide entertainment to the Filipino people.

We stand in solidarity with the workers of ABS-CBN who are now facing the prospect of losing their jobs as the company starts to shutter its programs and other broadcast operations. We sincerely hope that ABS-CBN will address the needs of its workers and provide them all-out assistance as the entire Filipino working class face an unprecedented crisis of joblessness.

The Party denounces the new order of the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) which compelled you to stop broadcasting over SkyCable and TV Plus, in addition to the previous order which stopped you from airing over free television. As pointed out in congressional hearings, this latest NTC order against ABS-CBN already goes beyond the congressional franchise question.

This order comes on top of the relentless congressional harassment against ABS-CBN and abuse of powers to grant broadcast franchises. These non-stop attacks against ABS-CBN clearly seek to force it to completely shut down its operations.

In our view, the situation you are confronting goes beyond the congressional franchise question. The NTC orders and the congressional harassment reveals the real motive of the Duterte regime and his minions in congress which is to put a complete end to the broadcast operations of ABS-CBN. This forms part of the Duterte’s political vendetta against ABS-CBN which he perceives to have supported his election rivals in 2016, in the hope of forcing it to sell. The ultimate aim is to pave the way for one of his cronies to control the media network.

The Party supports the view that the orders for ABS-CBN to stop free air, cable and digital TV broadcast are an affront against press freedom. It is an attack not only against ABS-CBN but against the entire media industry. It aims to terrorize news reporters, broadcasters, journalists, opinion writers and all media workers. The objective is to cow them to submit to Duterte’s official line and suppress criticism in the vain hope of obscuring the regime’s failures, especially in confronting the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Party extends its support to the Filipino people’s call for ABS-CBN to be immediately allowed to resume broadcast over all platforms. We urge all democratic-minded people to come together and support ABS-CBN as well as all journalists and media workers in the country.

The struggle against the suppression of ABS-CBN will be fought effectively in line with the overall clamor of the Filipino people for Duterte’s ouster or resignation.