Here's a cheat sheet on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal

Here's a cheat sheet on ABS-CBN's franchise renewal
The legislative franchise of broadcast giant ABS-CBN is set to expire on March 30.
The STAR / Boy Santos

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 8 p.m., May 11) — Government officials, media practitioners, celebrities and other private groups and individuals have expressed support for the renewal ABS-CBN's legislative franchise.

With less than two months before the expiration of its franchise, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a quo warranto petition against ABS-CBN Corporation and its subsidiary ABS-CBN Convergence Inc.

Here's what we should know on the franchise renewal of broadcast giant ABS-CBN:


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Sen. Francis Pangilinan

This confluence of events was obviously deliberate, aimed at slowly maiming the broadcast network: the President’s incessant and open attacks, the absence of movement from the lower chamber to tackle the pending franchise renewal bills and recently, as if aiming for the kill, a quo warranto petition two months before the franchise of the network expires.

Sen. Nancy Binay

Naiintindihan ko din naman iyong mga reklamo against ABS-CBN but mas mahalaga iyong freedom to information, access to information. I think kapag nawala itong ABS[CBN], malaking dagok iyon sa access natin to information.

Sen. Leila de Lima

A case meant to intimidate a private institution premised on questionable legal and factual bases is an abuse of office, much like a senior government official exerting influence in order to secure contracts for security services with the government for his family corporation.

Defense Press Corps of the Philippines

It has been said that a free press is the lifeblood of democracy. We cannot emphasize this enough as seeking to destroy ABS-CBN, an institution in the Philippine media industry, sends a clear warning to the country's fourth estate to carry our message or face annihilation.

Foreign Correspondents Association of the Philippines

ABS-CBN’s franchises, which the Sol-Gen sought to revoke, are due to expire next month. These moves politically harass and threaten a pillar of the media industry that employs thousands of Filipinos and has played a crucial part in helping fight official corruption and abuse for decades. Our ABS-CBN colleagues have been on the frontlines of every major breaking news in the country. They have chronicled history, and continue to hold power to account.



Justice and Court Reporters Association

Calida, by his hostility to Atty. Navallo, failed to rise to the exacting standards of his profession both as an officer of the court and as a ranking civil servant. We take it as an affront to our constitutional right to report. We believe that such veiled threats to reporters, especially when coming from a government official, have no space in a democracy.



Malacañang Press Corps

We will remain vigilant against attempts to weaponize legal remedies and processes to suppress free expression, a key component of a healthy democracy and a right enshrined in the constitution.



PNP Press Corps

Amid various arguments pertaining to this matter, all of these still boil down to the issue of press fredom, which is enshrines in the Constitution, and which is part of the real meaning of democracy.

Senate reporters

We also see these attempts as an insult to the intelligence of the Filipino people, who are constantly bombarded with disinformation that the mainstream media has been trying to fight.



Center for Media Freedom & Responsibility

The history of the media franchise in this country has favored the unfettered exchange of ideas and the practice of independent journalism — with the exception of the Martial Law period, when all free press organizations were closed down.

Do we want to drag the country back to this dark period?

UP College of Mass Communication

To maintain and protect our democracy, we need a free press to serve as a faithful chronicler of contemporary events; a platform for the diversity of voices to be heard; and more importantly, the public's watchdog of inept, abusive and corrupt governance.

UST Journalism Faculty

The quo warranto petition against the country's largest media network is a direct assault on this sacrosanct freedom, and efforts by agents of the Duterte regime — who are no strangers to propaganda, misdirection and disinformation — to frame it as a legal question are in vain.

Bukluran ng Manggagawang Pilipino

In paper, the State should hold the primacy of the plight of the workers in the political and economic infighting of the elite. In the ABS-CBN case, it should give main consideration to the contribution of the workers not only in the growth of the company but also to the much-purported role of the network in nation building.

Human Rights Watch

This case by the government’s chief lawyer underscores Duterte’s determination to shutter the network, in the same manner that he has gone after the news website Rappler for its critical reportage of the “war on drugs.” Filipinos and advocates of press freedom should reject this move and assert their right to a free press.

International Federation of Journalists

Democracy in the Philippines will be seriously eroded by the potential elimination of such a key broadcaster and is strongly condemned by the media nationally and globally. ABS-CBN deserves the right to continue its role as a critical fourth pillar of democracy in the Philippines.

Photojournalists' Center of the Philippines Inc.

To deprive them of the network’s services is to deprive them of the freedom of access to information. If President Rodrigo Duterte has a grievance on the network, the courts are the proper venue. If ABS-CBN committed lapses in its 25 years holding the franchise, then the congressional hearings are the venue.


The Duterte administration, through Mr Calida, is resorting to legal gymnastics to push their own agenda of silencing critical media. We stand with our colleagues at ABS-CBN and share the hope that they will weather this and come out even stronger.

— Patricia Lourdes Viray

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