Senator Risa Hontiveros said in a virtual interview that the closure of ABS-CBN is a huge “danger signal” and an attack to press freedom.
“Importante, tingin ko, na tignan natin ito bilang isa na namang malaking danger signal, warning sign,” Hontiveros said in a virtual interview.
(For me the important thing is that we should see this as another big danger signal, a warning signal.)
“Basahin natin ang writing on the wall, huwag tayo magbulag-bulagan dahil ang anumang atake sa freedom of the press ay atake sa bawat isa pa at lahat ng mga karapatang pantao, mga democratic freedoms natin at civil liberties natin,” she added.
(Let us read the writing on the wall, let’s not go blind because any attack on the freedom of the press is an attack to everyone and all our human rights, our democratic freedoms and our civil liberties.)
“Kailangan tayong magtulungan at magkaisa sa pagdedepensa nito dahil kapag may isang haliging karapatan o kalayaan na pinilay ay pwedeng sunod-sunod nang pilayin din ang iba’t iba pang haligi ng isang demokrasya,” she added.
(We need to work together and unite in its defense because when one pillar of right or liberty is removed, the other pillars of democracy can be disrupted as well.)
Also read: Duterte’ completely neutral’ on ABS-CBN shutdown- Roque
Senator Hontiveros says ABS-CBN closure a ‘danger signal’
Hontiveros emphasized that this is not the first time the Duterte administration attack media outlets in the country.
“Hindi na nga ito ang unang pagkakataon nagpag-shutdown o pagsubok na mag-shutdown, nauna nang i-bully ang Rappler, Philippine Daily Inquirer, ngayon ABS-CBN,” she said.
(This is not the first that they shut down or tried to shut down [media companies]. First, they bullied Rappler, Philippine Daily Inquirer, and now ABS-CBN.)
In February 2020, President Duterte accepted the apology ABS-CBN’s CEO and President Carlo Katigbak over Duterte’s unaired P7-million worth of political ad during the 2016 elections.
“We were sorry if we offended the President. That was not the intention of the network,” Katigbak said during the hearing of the Senate public services committee tackling the renewal of ABS-CBN’s franchise.
Pastor Quiboloy, the self-appointed “son of God” and a close friend of Duterte, aired a statement in November 2019 challenging ABS-CBN’s artist Vice Ganda on when does he want to make the network’s show “Ang Probisyano” to stop.
The statement resurfaced online after ABS-CBN officially signed off, after 73 years, on Tuesday night.