#IbalikAngABSCBN topped the trending topics on social media just hours before President Rodrigo Duterte’s last State of the Nation Address (SONA) this Monday.
The hashtag on Twitter is still number 1 in Philippine trends as of 5:30 pm, usually associated with issues regarding the network’s return to the air.
Some of the tweets of netizens were the effects of the loss of ABS-CBN on the air and the public’s request to give the network back the franchise.
During his last SONA, Duterte said, “Wala akong problema sa ABS-CBN. They got my money, they wanted to return it…but they printed all the garbage, including my daughter as a drug trafficker. Nilamon ko na lang lahat ‘yun…. But itong ano, they are cheating government, billions in taxes, and they still want that frequency because ‘yan ang pinag-aawayan. I will give it to a Filipino na gustong mag-gawa ng tama and will pay.”
According to the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines, the legal conflict has become more open under the Duterte administration, including the issue of the ABS-CBN franchise.
“The use of lawfare against the media has never been more blatant. Under cover of legal processes, the Duterte administration has unleashed the biggest assaults on press freedom with the denial of the ABS-CBN franchise, continuing charges against Rappler, and made-up criminal cases against several community journalists” they said.
#IbalikAngABSCBN trends after Duterte’s SONA speech
Millions of Filipinos lost access to information, especially in remote areas, amid the COVID-19 pandemic after disappearing from the network air on May 5, 2020, following a cease and desist order from the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC).
On July 10, 2020, the network’s application for renewal of its franchise was not passed in the House of Representatives, and thousands of its employees lost their jobs.
During the president’s last SONA, various sectors staged protests calling him the last Duterte to sit in Malacañang.
In a new survey by Pulse Asia Research published this Monday, it appears that addressing the various effects of COVID-19 on livelihood is what Filipinos what to hear in Duterte’s last SONA.